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Barefoot Investor issues a new challenge for Australia

Cameron Carpenter

The Barefoot Investor explains how the rich are getting richer in Australia, while the young and poor are 'mostly not getting anywhere' financially.

'I think it's child abuse if you buy your kid a car.' That's the message from Barefoot Investor Scott Pape, who's now on a mission to teach kids money skills.

'They should be getting out of bed, and getting a part-time job,' he told the ABC. 'You can match them dollar for dollar, but you want to incentivise them to get off their butt, get a job and start saving and start earning.'

Pape's comments come as he embarks on his Barefoot Money Movement, a campaign to get banks out of schools and ensure kids get independent financial education.

'My concern is that having Australia’s biggest issuer of credit cards in classrooms teaching kids about money is like having Ronald McDonald teach our kids about food nutrition.'

'After I wrote the Barefoot Investor, the number one question I got was "why didn't I learn this in school," – "why am I only learning about this in my 20s, 30s, and 40s"', he said.

'It is the one subject that every kid in school will be tested on, whether we like it or not. And if you get a passing or a failing grade, it colours your entire life. So really, it just blows my mind that we don't teach this stuff.

'A lot of young people – especially in their teens say: "I'm no good with numbers. I'm not a maths guy or student, so therefore I'm no good with money,'" Pape explains.

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'And if you think that about yourself, you graduate when you're 18, and you've got banks, Afterpay, credit cards, all waiting to try and prove you right.

'I want to change that conversation and lift kids' financial confidence, so they make good choices when they graduate.'

Barefoot Investor Scott Pape wants banks kicked out of schools. Pictured is Scott with his wife Liz.

Already Pape has received a massive response to his campaign to bring financial education to schools, especially in some of Australia's lower socioeconomic areas.

'It's the parents that are in the harder hit areas that say, "I want this, we need to bring this to schools," because they don't want to have their kids to make the same mistakes they did,' he says.

Pape explains that the rich are getting richer in Australia, while the young and poor are 'mostly not getting anywhere' financially.

'We've got the difference between the haves and the haves not now. Anyone that owns a house now or owns shares are getting richer. Anyone that doesn't is sitting on the sidelines.'

He's since created a list of demands for every state government in Australia to address the widening gap.

'I want them to commit to kicking out the banks — and teaching our kids the real money skills.'

The Barefoot Investor's five core demands for his Barefoot Money Movement:

1. Implement a practical 4-to-6-week Money Challenge every year

2. Show primary schoolers the power of working, saving, spending and giving

3. Show high schoolers how to get a job and set up their savings' buckets'

4. Commit to professional development financial education for teachers

5. Kick the banks out of our schools

You can sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/governments-around-australia-it-s-time-to-kick-the-banks-out-of-schools-and-teach-kids-real-money-skills?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=custom_url&recruited_by_id=fffc3ee0-cbc1-11eb-9c44-8d2b44c61d46