The Bishop of Durham received the following written answer on 19th December 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the potential impact of expanding the Help to Save scheme to all Universal Credit claimants and broadening points of access to include credit unions and other providers of low-cost credit.
Lord Harlech (Con): Help to Save aims to support individuals to kickstart a regular, long-term savings habit and build a rainy-day savings fund by providing a generous government bonus on savings over four years.
The scheme’s eligibility criteria target working individuals in low-income households, who may be able to save a small amount each month due to their employment or self-employment income. Individuals are eligible to open a Help to Save account if they are: receiving Working Tax Credit; receiving Child Tax Credit and are entitled to Working Tax Credit; or receiving Universal Credit and had take-home pay of £658.64 or more in their last monthly assessment period.
As the scheme is targeted towards working individuals, the Government has no current plans to broaden the scheme’s eligibility criteria.
Help to Save is currently delivered by NS&I on behalf of HMRC. This delivery model provides national coverage with a single provider, maintaining simplicity for scheme participants and providing a single point of entry to the scheme. The Government has no current plans to alter this delivery mechanism to allow credit unions or other providers of low-cost credit to offer Help to Save.