“Everyone turning 18 in Swansea has savings set aside that they might not even know about” says Tonia Antoniazzi MP
This month, the first people to benefit from Child Trust Funds turn 18 and can access the money put aside for them for the first time. Over the next nine years, thousands of young people in Gower and Swansea will be able to manage and access the money put aside for them.
For every child born after 1 September 2002, until the Conservatives closed the scheme in 2011, the Labour Government put at least £250 aside for them. The money went into an account their parents could open with a financial services provider using a voucher sent out by the government. For children whose parents didn’t use their voucher, the government set up an account for them. The Welsh Labour government put extra money in when children reached primary school age.
Parents and others could pay more money into the account too, subject to an annual cap. Children with disabilities were entitled to extra annual payments into their Trust Fund from the government, because Labour recognized the extra needs young adults with disabilities face.
Tonia Antoniazzi, Member of Parliament for Gower said “Here in Gower, 6947 accounts were created, but not all by parents – 1892 of those accounts were created by the government to make sure no-one was left behind. I don’t want any 18 year old to miss out on their child trust fund.
“The idea behind the policy was simple but imaginative. People with access to savings have long had the ability to put down a deposit on a flat, buy a car, start a business or whatever else they choose to do with that money.
People turning 18 today, and their families, know the disastrous mess the Conservatives are making of their futures. Just last month we saw the fiasco over A-level results. A generation of school-leavers have been let down by a government which hasn’t been doing its homework.
What’s more, because the Conservatives stopped the scheme, many people may have forgotten that they have that money to call theirs. Consumer group Which? estimated last year that this could apply to as many as 3 million children and young people, covering accounts containing as much as £2.5 billion.
“A new generation of young people will see the difference a Labour government can make to their lives.”
HMRC have now made it easier to find your fund: visit https://www.gov.uk/child-trust-funds/ for details. But every parent, every school, and every employer can help in the months and years to come in making sure people who are turning 18 know the money is now theirs to manage and know how they can access funds with which they may have lost touch. Every trust fund, and every choice it enables or makes easier, is a reminder of the difference a Labour government can make.