- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Local Assembly member Joyce Watson today urged Welsh parents and carers to invest in their children’s future now through the Child Trust Fund Cymru, which offers a free Child Trust Fund top up of either £50 or £100 for Welsh children who were born between 31 August 2004 and 1 September 2005.
Mrs Watson said: “Saving money now will help our children get on in later life, and will help to encourage them to handle money wisely as they grow older.
“The Child Trust Fund doesn’t only help us to address the consequences of child poverty in Wales but also encourages saving, improves financial literacy and tackles financial exclusion. It also gives young people an important financial asset for the future.
“This year those children who were born between 31 August 2004 and 1 September 2005 are eligible for the top up. This means that £50 is available to be paid into the Child Trust Fund accounts of all eligible children, with an additional £50 available to those children living in low income families.
“I would urge parents and carers of all children who fall into the eligible age bracket to complete the form now and get their applications in. The closing date for applications is 31 January 2011 and after this date you will not be able to apply for children in this age group.
“Unfortunately earlier this year the UK Coalition Government made a decision to end the Child Trust Fund which will clearly disadvantage children in Wales. This runs counter to our aim of reducing the chances of poorer children in Wales becoming poorer adults.
“Inevitably this announcement does have a knock-on effect on what we can do in Wales, so I am glad that Minister Huw Lewis has assured us that the Welsh Assembly Government will do everything it can to explore ways in which its existing investment in setting up Child Trust Funds in Wales can be protected, and to see what it can do to maintain its commitment to Wales’ children and young people into the future.”
The Welsh Assembly Government made a commitment to introduce a Welsh premium to the Child Trust Funds of all eligible children in Wales as part of its overall child poverty strategy.
All children born since 1st September 2002 have received an initial payment of at least £250 through the UK Child Trust Fund. Since September 2009 around 30,000 children born each year in Wales have also been able to receive the Child Trust Fund Cymru top-up.
There is a wide range of help and support available to make completing the form easier by either calling 0800 496 0590 or you can go to the Child Trust Fund Cymru website: www.wales.gov.uk/childtrustfundcymru.
There are 76 financial organisations registered with HMRC as Child Trust Fund account providers. These include banks, building societies, credit unions, friendly and mutual societies.