Today, 4 October 2021, the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) has launched an eight-week consultation on how its services will help Welsh language speakers make the most of their money and pensions.
The consultation, which is available on the MaPS website, invites all those with an interest in the Welsh language or MaPS services to read a new draft Welsh Language Scheme and feedback thoughts and comments by 5pm on Friday 26 November 2021.
All feedback in response to this consultation will be considered when finalising the Scheme. MaPS will evidence all changes made, before submitting the final Scheme to the Welsh Language Commissioner for approval.
MaPS gives the Welsh and English languages equal status in public life. As such MoneyHelper, the consumer-facing brand of the Money and Pensions Service, is available in Welsh and English. MoneyHelper also has a Welsh language helpline – staffed by Welsh speakers – and other Welsh language options are available on WhatsApp and web chat.
Lee Phillips, Rheolwr Cymru / Wales Manager at the Money and Pensions Service said:
“This consultation outlines our commitment to helping all Welsh speaking people in Wales and across the UK. For many Welsh speakers being able to use Welsh is key to accessing information and guidance about your money matters, not an optional extra.
“The Welsh language is growing and thriving both in Wales and across the UK, and as a public body, we want to grow our services with it. Our Scheme sets out how we will give effect to that principle when providing services to the public in Wales and I would encourage you to respond to the consultation.”
Lawrence Davies, Pensions Specialist at MoneyHelper said:
“My colleagues and I are operating a variety of services in the Welsh language across phonelines and online to help people – particularly those most in need – to improve their financial wellbeing and build a better, more confident future.
“As a first language Welsh speaker, I am proud to be able to provide money and pensions guidance in Welsh for MoneyHelper. Speaking in Welsh allows me to establish a level of trust and connection with service users – some of whom are in vulnerable circumstances – at important moments in their lives.”
Medwen Roberts, from Rhuthun in Wales, recently used the MoneyHelper phoneline in Welsh. She commented:
“I was trying to get some help deciding what to do with my pension. I wouldn’t say I’m active when it comes to looking after my pension. It’s quite mind-boggling and I find that there are more interesting things to do with my time…!
“When I called the MoneyHelper Welsh language pension helpline, I found that discussing my pension options in Welsh was more natural and relaxing. I’m more comfortable talking about important things, especially awkward things like money, in Welsh. Lawrence, my pensions expert, he was great, and he covered lots of extra things that I didn’t realise I needed to know. I would recommend it to anyone.”
Caryl Hughes, from Colwyn Bay in Wales, recently used the MoneyHelper website in Welsh. She commented:
“I used the Baby Cost Calculator on the MoneyHelper website to work out how much money we need for our second baby. It’s been a great help for me to remember what we’ve already got and what I need to buy as new, and of course, how much money we need to actually buy these items. And being able to access this in Welsh makes it even more useful.”
The consultation, which is open until 5pm on 26 November 2021, can be accessed here: https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/2021/10/04/welsh-language-scheme/