Tuesday 1 September 2002 marked the date that the last UK Labour Government established Child Trust Funds setting a policy to ensure that children across the UK, regardless of their background, had a financial start to their adult life.
Eighteen years on, this month marks the coming of age for the first young people who will benefit from that decision, which remained in place until 2011, following the change of Government in Westminster.
Over 14,000 children across Flintshire were issued with vouchers for their parents or guardians to open Child Trust Funds, with around 70% of families setting up accounts. This means that over 4,000 vouchers in Flintshire were not used by parents or guardians, and the UK Labour Government set up accounts on behalf of the children instead. There is a real risk that many families may have forgotten that the Fund exists and can now be accessed after their 18th birthday.
Member of the Senedd for Delyn, Hannah Blythyn MS said:
“I want to encourage anyone born before the Child Trust Funds were scrapped to look into the scheme and find out how they can access it after their 18th birthday.
The Welsh Labour Government recognised the importance of the scheme, investing additional money as children started primary school, and we recognise the importance now.
The main thing I want to say to children across Delyn, and indeed Wales, is – it’s yours, claim it”
Now that the first children to benefit are coming of age, Ms Blythyn is encouraging them to visit www.gov.uk/child-trust-funds and find out how they can access the savings which were invested to demonstrate the benefit of savings. Whether it’s left in savings, used to purchase a new car or help towards a deposit for a home, the money is there to be claimed.
The Delyn MS added:
“If you, or your child, has any questions about the Child Trust Fund and accessing it, please do get in touch and I will do all I can to support you.”
Within the Delyn constituency, approximately 6,200 families would have benefitted from the scheme during its nine year lifespan, and around 2000 accounts were set up by the UK Labour Government.
Ms Blythyn can be contacted at Hannah.Blythyn@senedd.wales or on 01352 762102.