Saturday, November 27

PM’s Help To Save Plan For Low Paid Workers



People on low incomes will be eligible for a bonus of up to £1,200 over four years if they put money away in a new savings scheme, David Cameron has announced.

Under the Help to Save initiative, around 3.5 million workers on universal credit or working tax credits will be able to save up to £50 a month and receive a bonus of 50% – a maximum of £600 – after two years.

For a further two years, savers can continue to use the scheme and earn up to another £600. Research suggests almost half of Britain’s adults have less than £500 set aside for emergencies.

The Prime Minister also announced an increase to the national minimum wage for young workers. From October, the rate will go up by 25p an hour for 21- to 24-year-olds, taking the rate to £6.95, and by the same amount for 18- to 20-year-olds, putting their pay at £5.55 an hour.

The rate will increase from £3.87 to £4.00 an hour for under-18s and apprentices will be given a 10p hourly rise taking them to £3.40. The Government has already announced plans for a national living wage of £7.20 for workers over 25 from April.

Speaking about today’s announcements, Mr Cameron said: I’ve made it the mission of this government to transform life chances across the country. That means giving hard-working people the extra support they need to fulfil their potential.

And that’s what these new measures will achieve – helping someone start a savings fund to get them through difficult times, giving people on low incomes a pay rise and making sure teenagers have the experience and networks to succeed.

Meanwhile, George Osborne has warned of a further £4bn spending cuts in Wednesday’s Budget, saying that the world is a more uncertain place than at any time since the financial crisis and we need to act now so we don’t pay later.

Savings equivalent to 50p in every £100 the Government spends needed to be found by 2020, the Chancellor said. Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, has criticised the Chancellor for not doing more to cut spending.

He said: While the Chancellor deserves some credit for steering the economy through difficult times, much of the action which was urgently needed to bring spending down and sort out the nation’s finances sadly never took place.