Help to save UK scheme

Are help to save schemes halal?
UK govt scheme where only low income people are eligible. It is designed to help low income people to save up for 4 years.

You deposit upto maximum £50 per month and at the end of 2 years the govt gives you 50% of what you saved as a bonus. And then again at end of year 4.

They claim it is not interest. And the money is held by National saving and investment. However if the govt is using this money then this will be considered as a loan? And the bonus will be riba wouldnt it? Please help

Wasalam

May Allah bless you.
The money given by the government for savings should be considered as gift and therefore it would be halal.
I am not aware of the fact that there is an agreement where you are lending to the government. If you have information about it, please share.

And Allah knows best!

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May Allah swt reward you for your response and helping the ummah.

I have asked islamic council of Europe the same question and recently received an answer. The sheikh said they havent looked into it but on basis of what I explained to him he said it’s better to stay away. He advised as you have, that if the govt was giving the 50% bonus as a gift or incentive this is fine.

However if the govt is using the money that you save then it becomes a loan to the govt.
Same way as banks use our money that we put in a savings account and pay us interest.

However I am not sure if the government is using the money. I’m guessing this is the fact which determines whether the scheme is halal or haram? As this is the factor that determines whether the bonus is a gift/incentive or riba payment.
If this is correct, wouldnt it be better to stay away from it until someone can establish that the government doesn’t use the money?

All it needs is to contact the relevant department and ask them directly.
@ibrahimkhan might have more details about the Help to buy scheme.