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Gloucestershire Business News

Help to Save extended to April 2025

A government savings scheme for struggling workers has been extended in the wake of enthusiastic uptake.

Closure of the Help to Save scheme, which promises to boost the amount saved with a 50% bonus payment, has now been pushed back to April 2025, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed.

Andrew Griffith, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: "Millions of people could benefit from a boost to their savings through Help to Save and thanks to our Spring Budget reforms the scheme has been extended until 2025.

"Whatever amount you can save will trigger a top up from the Government."

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC's Director General for Customer Services, added: "Help to Save can encourage positive saving habits – no matter what you can afford to save – and the 50% government bonus payment can help savers when they need it most."

More than 359,200 people opened savings accounts since the September 2018 launch and HMRC believes an additional three million could still benefit from the savings scheme as a result of this new extension. In order to get the bonus, savers have to keep paying into the account every month for the next two years.

HMRC added: "Help to Save is a savings scheme for low-income earners. Savers can deposit between £1 and £50 a month into their account and will receive a government bonus- even if money has been withdrawn.

"Savers will earn a 50p bonus for every £1 saved and the bonus payments are paid in the second and fourth years. This means that someone saving £2,400 – the maximum amount they could deposit over four years – would receive a £1,200 bonus from the government, paid directly into their bank account."

Eligible savers (including those on working and child tax credit or those in a joint claim for universal credit) can find out more through the GOV.UK website or HRMC's app.

However, not all analysts believe the scheme is wise for people on the breadline.

Myron Jobson, senior personal finance analyst for Interactive Investor, said: "On paper, Help to Save is a great initiative to help instil a culture of savings among the nation's most cash-strapped individuals. But for those who've felt the full force of cost-of-living squeeze, the priority has been to stay above the breadline.

"If you are on a low income, the problem is that you have little, if anything, to spare to save at the end of the month. Many people make the mistake of trying to save when they are in debt, and yet the cost of debt for most usually vastly outweighs the gain of saving."

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