The government’s plan to make people save for an emergency through the proposed ‘Help to Save’ shows how out of touch the Conservatives are with the realities of those who are struggling.
Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Susan Kramer has said the scheme is just ‘smoke and mirrors’ to try and distract from a budget of heavy cuts.
Susan Kramer said: “This is cynical politics from David Cameron. The idea that millions of low income people on benefits will be able to save £50 each and every a month shows no understanding of life on a tiny budget.
“We need to hear from the Prime Minister that this proposal is not simply a preparation for cutting or eliminating the current programme of crisis and budgeting loans which are vital for helping those on low incomes to help in an emergency. There is no guarantee in the announcement today that this is not just a smokescreen for further cuts to existing support.”
“Instead of cynical political ploys, the Government could really help low income people by reversing its cuts to the amount they can keep under Universal Credit, giving public sector workers the pay rise they deserve and tackling sky high rents.”
Liberal Democrats are concerned that the announcement is simply a way of reducing, or cutting altogether, spending on crisis and budgeting loans, already available to people on low incomes to help pay for large upfront costs in an emergency - such as replacing a fridge. Conservatives have long sought to find ways of reducing spending on this vital support.