Thu. Mar 16th, 2023

Money saving expert Martin Lewis has given his thoughts on today’s budget – after being referred to directly in the chancellor’s speech.

Mr Lewis tweeted during the hour-long announcement: “I think I just got a name check in #Budget2023 – that’s a first.”

In a series of social media posts, the presenter highlighted changes to limits on pensions and universal credit, as well as an expansion of childcare funding.

Mr Lewis asked whether those who pay for childcare via tax-credits would be better off moving to universal credit and if it was going to be “tougher” for the unemployed following Jeremy Hunt’s statement.

He said: “The childcare uplift in universal credit WON’T apply to those on legacy benefits (ie tax credits). So the question will be should those who pay for childcare on tax-credits ask to move to UC.”

Martin Lewis is a finance expert


He also claimed two million jobseekers on universal credit will have “more rigorous sanctions if they didn’t take ‘appropriate’ work. So its going to be tougher for people who don’t work and who government thinks can”.

Mr Lewis also pointed to changes to limit on pensions: “The maximum annual amount you can put into a pension is to increase (I presume from April) from £40,000 to £60,000.”

The finance expert highlighted changes to the maximum amount you can put in your pension in your lifetime, which has been scrapped. In a video posted on Twitter, he said getting rid of the lifetime allowance “only affects wealthier people”.

However, he clarified that “this will not appy to the 25% tax free lump sum. The max you can take of that will still remain at the current rate of c. £268,000.

”PLUS [Mr Hunt] didn’t say but money purchase allowance up from £4k to £10k. This is the amount you can put in your pension once you’ve already taken some of it.”

Moving on to energy prices, Mr Lewis thanked the government for postponing the 20% rise in energy price guarantee, adding “in practice it’s cancelled.”

In a letter to the chancellor, he had previously claimed that the rise in the price guarantee – the state-subsidised energy rate – “will increase energy bills yet again for almost every home accross England, Scotland and Wales”.

Amongst the measures announced in the budget was a major expansion in state-funded childcare, aimed at boosting economic growth. Mr Hunt also revealed he would add £11bn to Britain’s defence budget in the next five years.

He said the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now forecasts the UK will not enter a technical recession this year and that the government “will meet the Prime Minister’s priorities to halve inflation, reduce debt and get the economy growing”.

Despite “continuing global instability”, Mr Hunt said, the OBR expects inflation in the UK will fall from 10.7% in the final quarter of last year to 2.9% by the end of 2023.

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