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Child Trust Funds: Children with Learning Disabilities

Volume 685: debated on Tuesday 8 December 2020

What steps his Department is taking to improve access to child trust funds for parents of young adults with learning disabilities. (909926)

As a young person turns 18, the contents of their child trust fund belong to them and them alone, whether or not they have a learning disability, which is an important point of principle, but for those loving parents who, for good reason, want legal authority to access those funds, we want to make the process more cost-effective and more straightforward. As a result, fees can now be waived in appropriate cases and we have set up a working group to work quickly alongside the judiciary to review the process, with a view to streamlining it while maintaining vital safeguards.

I thank the Minister for that answer, the work that he is doing on this issue and the letter he wrote to me this week about my constituents who are affected. As he knows, around 200,000 disabled children could be affected by this in the coming eight years, unable to access their Government-backed child trust fund, so I urge him to continue the good work that he is doing and to really make sure that applications to the Court of Protection are the least onerous possible for the parents of these disabled children.

I thank my right hon. Friend for raising that issue on behalf of his constituents. He makes an incredibly important point. We have a duty to make sure that the rights of those individuals are maintained, but it is also important that, when there are loving parents and all they want to achieve is the best for their children, they are able to access that money in the interests of their children with the minimum of fuss, the minimum of bother and, frankly, the minimum of expense.