Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis spoke with Rishi Sunak on last night’s The Martin Lewis Money Show following the Chancellor’s Budget announcement.
The cash-saving guru questioned Mr Sunak over a number of concerns as part of a post-budget interview on ITV.
The interview was filmed on Thursday, with Mr Lewis travelling to docklands, 24 hours after the Chancellor outlined government spending plans for 2021.
Speaking to the Chancellor, Martin said: “I have a tweet here from Fi: ‘Why why why is the fourth grant for SEISS not available now, waiting until April will leave me homeless’.”
He added: “You have delayed this – why is it the end of April?
“You have done it much earlier in previous grants, certainly. I would have expected it to come in earlier.”
“Why isn’t the 4th SEISS grant available now?” 💷
@MartinSLewis challenges @RishiSunak on the late April SEISS date, given the cash-flow issues currently facing many self-employed taxpayers.
#MartinLewis #MartinAndRishi pic.twitter.com/kAdprDH5QW
— The Martin Lewis Money Show Live (@itvMLshow) March 4, 2021
Rishi Sunak replied: “The simple reason is because the grant pays for the months between February and April.
“The difference this time is we are making improvement in access to the grant. We want to bring in those people who have filed tax returns for 19/20 and we need those to come in and we need some flexibility around the deadline and more time to be able to process the grants.”
Mr Sunak said it was all about “balance” despite business owners facing a longer wait for government support.
The Chancellor continued: “The important thing …. is in order for us to progress the sheer millions of claims and tax returns, to be able to go through them to get the grants, we do need that time.
“That was part of the trade-off in the deadline and flexibility, and bringing those people in. That’s a tricky balance.
“We could have kept January 31 and been very hard on that, but we said we would take new self-returns for people until the day before the Budget – if those things mean we have to be a little later in getting grants out, that’s the balance.”