A dad who earns £30,000 a year asked money-saving expert Martin Lewis if he would be "better off on benefits" during a recent TV phone-in.

The father-of-two contacted Martin to explain his predicament in the latest episode of The Martin Lewis Money Show Live on ITV.

The man, called Michael, explained that he and his partner have eight-month-old twins and are facing a £3,000-a-month bill for childcare.

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He said it means he "simply can't afford to go back to work".

The man did not elaborate further and it was unclear if he has already been forced to leave his job or what his partner's situation is.

He said: "We have eight-month-old twins and simply can't afford to go back to work. Childcare costs for five days per week are coming in at over £3,000 a month. 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?"

Martin noted the "political issue" in the country around the level of childcare available to parents.

He added: "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.

"Now there is childcare help available out there. Michael, I have to be honest, I cannot tell you if you will qualify but follow the three steps I'm going to give you through."

He said that there are currently 800,000 people missing out on childcare help - that's Ofsted regulated or equivalent, childminders, nurseries, holiday clubs and after-school clubs.

Martin said if you pay for childcare and your family's income is below £40,000 then you should do a benefits calculation online.

If you're already on Universal Credit and you are not getting childcare money, you could be due up to 85% of the childcare costs and if you're on Tax Credits, you could be due up to 70% of your childcare costs.

And Martin added that if you have tried both of those, there is tax-free childcare available to those working and earning National Minimum Wage for more than 16 hours per week.

If you put in 80p, the state adds another 20p, up to a max of £2,000 a year until the child turns 11, and you can apply via gov.uk.