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Government consult on the implementation of Help-to-Save

June 2016

Government consult on the implementation of Help-to-Save

Earlier this year the Government announced a number of measures designed to improve the life chances of struggling families across the UK. These measures included Help-to-Save, a national mentoring campaign and increases in the National Minimum Wage.

With research showing that almost half of UK adults have less than £500 set aside for emergencies; Help-to-Save (HTS) has been the topic of much debate, with many stakeholders broadly in favour of the principles which sit behind it.

It is estimated that 3.5 million people may be eligible for the scheme, enabling those in work and in receipt of Universal Credit or Working Tax Credits to save up to £50 a month and receive a 50% bonus after 2 years – worth up to £600.

Over recent months there has been a significant increase in the number of research statistics showing that many UK families are inadequately prepared to deal with an unexpected and unavoidable financial outlay, leaving them at risk of being unable to meet their existing financial commitments.

Whilst it’s clear that a savings buffer would enable many families to be more resilient to financial shock, what’s not currently as clear cut is how to incentivise these families to set aside, often on tight budgets, regular savings. With the Government’s consultation on HTS open until 21 July 2016, it will be interesting to see what recommendations stakeholders have for ensuring the success of the scheme, particularly in regard to take-up and whether it then plays any part in enabling families to avoid problem debt in the future.

The consultation regarding the implementation of HTS is now open and can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/help-to-save-consultation-on-implementation/help-to-save-consultation-on-implementation

 

 

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