HMRC have launched a consultation on the government’s proposed ‘Help-to-Save’ scheme, which is designed to encourage people on low incomes to build up their savings.
Broadly, the scheme will be open to some 3.5 million adults in receipt of universal credit with minimum weekly household earnings equivalent to 16 hours at the National Living Wage, or those in receipt of working tax credit. It will work by providing a 50% government bonus on up to £50 of monthly savings into a Help-to-Save account. The bonus will be paid after two years with an option to save for a further two years, meaning that people can save up to £2,400 and benefit from government bonuses worth up to £1,200. Savers will be able to use the funds in any way they wish. HMRC say that Help-to-Save accounts will be available ‘no later than April 2018’.
The consultation document provides an overview of how the new accounts will work, sets out core principles for determining its approach to implementation, and considers options for the provision of accounts. It also seeks views on detailed policy design issues within the scheme parameters that have already been announced and options to promote awareness and take-up of the scheme. The consultation will run until 21 July 2016. Further information can be found at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/help-to-save-consultation-on-implementation/help-to-save-consultation-on-implementation.