· New figures for Help to Save – an initiative announced with great fanfare by former Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of the 2016 Budget – suggest it has failed to live up to the hype ()
· 64,350 people have deposited just over £13 million in Help to Save accounts, receiving a combined bonus of around £6.5 million
· At launch the Government said up to 3.5 million people could benefit from the reform
· Average deposits have been £44 a month, just below the £50 limit
Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, comments:
“Given the hype around the Help to Save initiative ahead of the 2016 Budget, it is hard to escape the conclusion the programme has been something of a damp squib.
“While it is clearly positive over 60,000 people have benefited from a 50% top-up on money saved through the scheme, that is a small fraction of the 3.5 million who could have claimed.
“Given the scheme is aimed directly at those on the lowest incomes, it is perhaps little surprise take-up has been so low. If you are on benefits and struggling to make ends meet, even a significant savings carrot will make little difference to your spending decisions.”