Martin Lewis has said he has “worries” about schoolchildren buying presents for teachers but has denied reports he is against the idea.
Lewis, the man behind the Money Saving Expert site, which it claims has more than 16 million users a month, posted a message on social media on Friday morning.
He said on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, that he had seen newspaper reports claiming he had called for “some sort of legislative ban” on giving teachers presents.
“That is not my view,” said Lewis, but he admitted he had reservations about the personal and financial pressures it can put on people.
“Teachers do an amazing job and I know many people are grateful.
“But I do have slight worries that when you’re talking about individuals giving teachers gifts out of their own pockets, then those with the biggest pockets are able to make teachers more grateful.
“Most teachers don’t behave in that way, but I do think that sets a moral hazard.”
The consumer champion also warned of the danger “during a cost of living crisis” of making it a matter of course that parents buy individual presents for teachers, thereby imposing an “unnecessary, unaffordable” burden on them.
His solution was to have a classroom whip-round “of those who can afford it” to buy the teacher a “small gift” from the whole class.
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Lewis, who originally spoke to Times Radio on Thursday, was quoted in several newspapers saying he believed that students giving their teachers a gift to show appreciation should be “banned”.
During the interview, he urged people to avoid a “massive financial hangover” in the new year from overspending during the holiday.
He added that he has been “campaigning for years” on banning unnecessary Christmas presents for the “ever-growing list of family, friends, teachers that we feel obligated to buy for”.