Millions on Universal Credit to get £600 savings boost as Help to Save scheme extended | The Sun
MILLIONS on Universal Credit can get a £600 savings boost as the Help to Save scheme has been extended.
The move was announced in documents released following Jeremy Hunt's Spring Budget today.
Help to Save is a government initiative designed to encourage those on benefits to save money.
The scheme was set to end in September this year but will now be open until April 2025.
It means that benefits claimants have even longer to earn free cash while they save.
For every £1 put in the account, the government will boost it by 50p, up to a certain amount.
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Consumer champion Martin Lewis welcomed the extension.
He said on Twitter: "Help to Save scheme (50% boost to many on Universal Credit who use the scheme) to be extended.
"It was due to close to in September, I'm pleased to see it has now been extended so new applicants can apply until April 2025."
Spring Budget at a glance
- Millions of households will save £160 after the Energy Price guarantee was extended
- Cigarette prices will rise after the government hiked tobacco tax
- Drivers won’t pay more for fuel as duty was frozen and a 5p cut will continue in a huge win for The Sun’s campaign to keep it low
- The lifetime allowance on pensions will be axed and the annual allowance will increase
- The government will give councils £500m to fix potholes
- Millions of energy customers on prepayment meters will no longer pay more
- Jeremy Hunt unveiled 12 low-tax investment zones across the country
- Alcohol duty on beer in pubs will be cut, saving 11p per pint – but tax on wine and spirits will increase
- The Chancellor confirmed that benefits will rise next month
- Corporation tax will rise to 25% next month
- The government will extend free childcare to 30 hours for one and two-year-olds
- Working parents on Universal Credit will get more for childcare and costs covered straight away
You can sign up if you are on Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit.
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Under the scheme, the government gives you 50p for every £1 you save into your account over four years.
You can save between £1 and £50 each calendar month and pay the money in via standing order or bank transfer.
That means if you put the maximum £50 in each month from April 2023 for two years you would get back £600 from the government in total.
Just under 400,000 people have opened a Help to Save account since it launched in September 2018, according to the government's recent figures.
But that means millions of households aren't getting the free cash when they could be.
Help to Save might not be for you if you are struggling to afford everyday essentials.
But you don't have to pay in every month and can top up your account from just £1.
Who is eligible for Help to Save?
You can open a Help to Save account if you are:
- receiving working tax credit
- are entitled to working tax credit and receiving child tax credit
- claiming Universal Credit and you (with your partner if it's a joint claim) earned £658.64 or more in your last monthly assessment period
It's worth noting that your earnings are based on take-home pay.
This is how much you have earned after deductions such as tax or National Insurance.
If you are in a couple, you and your partner can apply for separate Help to Save accounts, but you'll need to apply individually.
You also need to be living in the UK to be eligible for the scheme.
How can I apply?
You can apply for an account via gov.uk but you'll need a government gateway ID and password.
You can create a user ID when you apply if you don't already have one.
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If you don't have access to a computer or phone with internet connection, you can call 0300 322 7093 to set up an account.
You'll need to provide bank details when you apply as the bonus is paid into your bank account rather than savings account.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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