“Millions of pounds of children’s savings could go unclaimed” warns local Labour AM

29 January 2020

If you or your child is about to turn 18, this is worth checking out!

Vaughan Gething AM is calling on all parents and teenagers about to turn 18 to check if they have access to government-backed trust funds, set up when they were born.

 

In some cases these child trust accounts, which will mature this autumn and may contain around £1,000, could be lost after the UK Government scrapped the Labour scheme.  The first wave of the child trust funds will mature in September 2020, with access to savings for all children born in 2002.

Welsh Labour is demanding the UK Government does more to make sure all young people who are about to turn 18 are properly reunited with their child trust fund.

Child Trust Funds were set up by the former UK Labour Government in 2002. All children born from 1 September 2002 received an initial payment of at least £250 before the scheme was abolished by Conservative Ministers in 2011.  It is a long-term tax-free scheme designed to help boost savings for children with those from low income families receiving an additional £250.

The Welsh Labour Government boosted the scheme even further with Child Trust Fund Cymru in Autumn 2009. The scheme provided an additional top-up of £50 for all children in Wales, with a payment of £100 to children living in low income households as they began primary school.

Vaughan Gething said:

“The Welsh Labour Government and the then UK Labour Government made a significant investment on the future of our young people, and it’s crucial that the current UK Government plays their part as these young people make plans for their future.”

“Many people won’t know that they have these accounts because the Conservative UK Government hasn’t promoted them. I’m urging all young people who turn 18 in September to check their funds. If you’d like more information or help on how to access these funds, please get in touch with my office or visit: https://www.gov.uk/child-trust-funds.”

“These funds offer an opportunity for young people to re-invest and save further or cover immediate costs, at 18 years of age they face some of their most important life decisions. They should face no barrier in accessing the savings that they’re entitled to.”

 

Finance Minister Rebecca Evans has written to the UK Treasury demanding all young people in Wales are linked to their accounts.

She said:

“The funds committed by previous UK and Welsh Labour governments were investment in our children’s future. Whether young people choose to re-invest that money and save for the future or use it to meet immediate costs to help with their next steps at this pivotal age, they should face no barriers to accessing these savings.”

 

More information about how to access these funds can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/child-trust-funds.

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