Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, has warned that £2.5bn worth of savings – which could benefit two million young people – is at risk of disappearing for good, as he calls on the Government to take action in ensuring these accounts reach the intended individuals.
The Child Trust Fund were opened by the last Labour Government for almost all young people born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011, with the Government paying £250 – or £500 for those in receipt of Child Tax Credit – into each account before it’s axing by the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition. Of the 9858 children in Stockton North with an account, it is estimated by the Share Foundation – who administer the Trust – that around 3286 of these accounts are inactive.
Many of these inactive accounts – a million in total nationally – are held by children from the poorest 17% of families, with these young people at risk of missing out on and average of £1,500 each.
It is a scandal that the Child Trust Fund, which was designed to ensure every young person had some savings as they became 18, has been left to slide into dormancy.
Young people – many from less affluent areas – are missing out on savings that are theirs by right. This money could be of huge benefit to many young people as they begin adult life, and it is vitally important that the Government does all it can to ensure every eligible young person is matched to an account.