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Martin Lewis criticises Jeremy Hunt on Good Morning Britain over ‘nonsense’ benefits rule

MARTIN LEWIS has urged Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to address a benefits loophole that causes some individuals to lose over £80 in financial support each week. The founder of MoneySavingExpert highlighted the issue during a live appearance on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, 22 May, focusing on the carer’s allowance.

The carer’s allowance is intended for those who provide care for someone requiring additional help. However, Mr Lewis pointed out that under the current system, anyone earning just a penny over £151 per week loses the entire benefit, which is worth £81.90 weekly.

In his conversation with Mr Hunt, who was on the programme shortly before Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a general election for 4 July, Mr Lewis emphasised that this situation is unlike other benefits that taper off gradually, allowing recipients to lose only a portion of the support as their earnings increase.

Mr Lewis highlighted the impact of this loophole, stating, “This is affecting many people,” and noting that 130,000 individuals are affected by this “ridiculous” and “cliff edge” rule. He urged Mr Hunt to “fix the nonsense of carer’s allowance that means you lose the entire benefit if you go a penny over,” arguing that it disincentivises work and disrespects carers, who significantly reduce costs for the NHS and the state.

In response, Mr Hunt acknowledged the critical role carers play, saying they “do an incredibly important job.” He mentioned that he was examining the system to prevent people from unintentionally claiming carer’s allowance when not entitled to it.

After Mr Lewis pressed him further, Mr Hunt responded, “Let me finish,” and assured, “To answer your bigger question, do I want to make sure that we remove cliff edges in the tax system and the benefits system that stop people wanting to work? Yes.”

He also noted that he had previously increased the threshold for repaying child benefit following Mr Lewis’s campaigns. “So of course, we’ll continue to look at all measures that encourage people to get back into work,” Mr Hunt added.