A SWINDON MP has secured a landmark Commons debate to press for compulsory lessons designed to prevent youngsters facing financial disaster.

Justin Tomlinson, MP for Swindon North, has been pioneering a campaign for lessons on money to be a mandatory part of the school curriculum.

A Parliamentary group is about to publish a major report on financial education for young people, while supporters are also signing an e-petition on the subject.

Now the Commons backbench business committee, which decides what is discussed in the chamber, has allocated at least three hours to a debate, on Thursday.

Speaking in the Commons recently, Mr Tomlinson, called for better financial education, clearer labelling of the cost of financial products and tougher powers to shut lenders that break the rules.

And he said: “Ninety one per cent of people in financial difficulty feel, that with better information and advice, they would have made different decisions.

“MPs know, through their casework, of the distress in which individuals find themselves – and in times of financial difficulties their needs are even more urgent.

“These people do not necessarily have the time to shop around and make informed decisions and many people who get into financial distress do so following a significant change in their circumstances, whether it is a job loss, bereavement, illness or family breakdown. At such moments, they are not necessarily in the strongest position to address the challenges they face.”

Mr Tomlinson, who has worked with money expert Martin Lewis and TV maths expert Carol Vorder-man as part of the campaign, insisted the Government needed to go further than offering people free and independent financial advice.

He said: “Just as we insist on having a government health warning on cigarettes, I would like to see information published about how to access the free independent advice.

“Too often, we have seen some debt management companies create spurious charities, whose people then provide the ‘independent advice’, when they are, in fact, just subsidiaries of the company going after the business in the first place.”

The report is published on Monday and coincides with the launch of how the group would like to see compulsory financial education work. Thursday’s debate is the fourth that has been brought about an e-petition securing 100,000 signatures.