A father of two who earns £30,000 a year asked Martin Lewis if he would be better off quitting his job and claiming benefits.
The struggling father told the Money Saving Expert on the Martin Lewis Money Show of the thousands of pounds costs his family are facing whilst he earns £30,000 a year.
As a result of the rising cost of living, he and his partner are having to consider if they would simply be better off claiming benefits and quitting their jobs as opposed to one of them going back to work.
He spoke of how for five days of childcare per week, the cost would amount to £3,000 a month.
The distraught father, named Michael, asked Martin Lewis: ‘We have eight-month-old twins and simply can’t afford to go back to work.
A father of two who earns £30,000 a year asked the Money Saving Expert on the Martin Lewis Money Show if he would be better off quitting his job and claiming benefits
‘I earn £30k per year but this is not enough to support our family.
‘Is there any help available to us or are we, I hate to say it, better off quitting our jobs and going on benefits?’
Michael did not mention what he did for work nor did he specify whether it is he or his partner that has stopped working at the minute, or whether he has already quit his job.
In response to the father’s queries, Lewis said: ‘I know it is a debate across different parties of government and within different parties of government,
‘And – of course – we want people in our economy to be able to go out to work and have their children looked after.’
Although the Money Saving Expert was not aware of the specific details regarding Michael’s situation and could not say what childcare support he qualifies for, he advised aid is available for families.
Lewis said that currently, around 800,000 parents living in Britain are missing out on childcare support.
He went on to say how three and four-year-olds can get up to 30 hours of childcare for free at a nursery – the precise number would be contingent on your household income, how many partners are working, and where you live.
The television show host spoke of how the ongoing difficulties surrounding the cost of childcare certainly need looking at
He added that families that earn less than £40,000 can also do a benefits calculation to see if they are entitled to Universal Credit benefits.
Parents who are already on Universal Credit may be eligible for 85 per cent of their childcare costs, or 70 per cent if they are on Tax Credits.
Presently, the maximum sum a parent can receive for one child is £646 per month or £1,108 per month for two children under 16.
He finished off by explaining that the UK government provides a Tax-Free Childcare Scheme, which – if eligible – allows for £500 tax-free childcare every three months – which would amount to £2,000 per year for each child.
These numbers would be expected to double if the child is disabled.
Martin added: ‘To get this, you must be working an average of 16 hours or more per week, you can be self-employed, and if you’re a couple, you must both be working 16 hours or more and the maximum you can both earn is £100,000.’
If parents believe they are eligible, then the next step is to set up an account on the government website.
The television show host spoke of how the ongoing difficulties surrounding the cost of childcare certainly need to be looked at as thousands of other families up and down the country are also facing large bills.
Coming to the end of his advice on the matter, Martin said to the father-of-two: ‘Michael I hope some of that works for you, I can’t promise that it will but it’s worth exploring all these options.’