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Lib Dems call for proxy purchasing ban to cover all age-restricted goods

25 September 2012

At a Liberal Democrat Conference fringe meeting 'Teenagers, Money and Safe Spending' (Brighton, Monday 24 September) delegates backed calls for a ban on proxy purchase of tobacco and other age-related goods. Around 40 delegates and observers attended the meeting, hosted by CitizenCard and Pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group), which was chaired by Ceredigion MP Mark Williams and Edinburgh West MP Mike Crockart.

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Pfeg, spoke about how a recent study carried out by Pfeg and the National Children's Bureau revealed that most children worry about money – just 2% don't have their own money. The average age at which children start to use a mobile is 8, and children are online from the age of 10. 93% of parents want financial education in schools. Delegates discussed the merits of a statutory debt management plan, and it was agreed to use the opportunity of the Curriculum Review to press for financial education in schools, supported by the 226 MPs who were members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Personal Finance Education.

Jaine Chisholm Caunt, Secretary-General of the Tobacco Manufacturers Association (and a Board member of CitizenCard) told the audience that the subject was close to her heart thanks to 15 years' experience working as a money adviser with Citizens Advice. She said that her industry's commitment to preventing underage access was underlined by its support for CitizenCard and 'No ID, No Sale!' (NINS) with NINS signage on display in almost all newsagents and convenience stores. Jaine explained that the Visa Prepaid CitizenCard was a real step forward in offering 'safe spending' because adult merchant codes had been barred from under-18 cards, and (uniquely amongst financial products in the UK) the 16-digit card number differentiated adults from children so that websites could determine if the cardholder was an adult from the card number alone.

Andrew Chevis, Chief Executive of CitizenCard added that the new cards would broaden the appeal of CitizenCard to the general public, many of whom obtained a CitizenCard for purposes such as boarding flights or taking advantage of discount offers. He explained that the Visa Prepaid CitizenCard was available free of charge to schools, colleges and universities by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Labour Party Conference:

12:45-13:45 Monday 1st October, Gio's Restaurant, 3-7 Lower Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3WS. Chaired by Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy.

Conservative Party Conference:

12:45-13:45 Monday 8th October, Bank Restaurant, 4 Brindley Place, Birmingham B1 2JB. Chaired by Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew and Northampton South MP Brian Binley.

Admission to the meetings is free and attendees can avail of a free Visa Prepaid CitizenCard. If you wish to attend please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.