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Child Trust Fund

Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2007

The Government's Child Trust Fund initiative is designed to strengthen the saving habit and ensure that at age 18 every young person, regardless of family background, will have access to a financial asset. The scheme will also help bring financial education to life for children, providing a practical and real life example of saving. The latest Child Trust Fund account opening figures, published on 28 September, highlight the continuing success of the Child Trust Fund, with three-quarters of parents opening an account for their child. Data published today also reveal that almost a quarter of children have already received additional contributions into their accounts.

However, there is more to do to reach new parents and to encourage the further involvement of parents whose children have accounts. The Government are continuing their efforts to raise awareness of the scheme and to encourage parents and families to engage with their child's account, by saving for their child's future and by using the Child Trust Fund to help teach children about money and saving.

From today, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will send out reminder letters to all parents who have not used their child's voucher eight months after it has been issued. In addition, HMRC have already begun to roll out a programme of training for Voluntary and Community Sector organisations which will help them to provide face to face support for less financially confident parents. HMRC will also consult from today on whether the requirement for parents to send in their vouchers in order to open an account might be removed, in order to make the account opening process easier.

I will be writing to all Members of Parliament this week with details of Child Trust Fund account opening figures for their constituencies, so that they may consider what more can be done locally to encourage parents to make the most of the opportunities the Child Trust Fund represents.