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Minister announces Child Trust Fund Cymru
Social Justice Minister Dr Brian Gibbons has announced that children in Wales will be receive a Welsh premium on top the UK government’s Child Trust Fund payment before the end of the financial year. The Minister made the announcement on a visit to St John Lloyd RC Primary School, Rumney, Cardiff, where he met some of the children who will be claiming the premium.
The Child Trust Fund Cymru will mean that children born between 1 September 2002 and 31 August 2004 who already have a Child Trust Fund account will have £50 paid into their account. Children from families on low incomes will be eligible for £100. More than 64,000 children in Wales will receive claim forms this financial year, with 52,000 being able to claim £50 and 12,000 eligible to claim £100.
The top-up is a key One Wales initiative to help address the consequences of child poverty in Wales and aims to encourage saving, improve financial literacy and tackle financial exclusion.
Child Trust Fund accounts enable families to start saving for their children’s future by providing £250 at birth and again at age seven with additional payments for children from low income households. The Child Trust Fund Cymru is in addition to this.
Eighteen credit unions across Wales offer Child Trust fund accounts, providing a safe, and convenient place to save the money and add to it. As is the case with Cardiff Credit Union at St John Lloyd School, many credit unions have collection points in schools and pupils can save as little as £1 per week.
Dr Gibbons said:
“Tackling child poverty and financial exclusion will give a whole generation of children a better future. Opening a Child Trust Fund account will not only mean that they will have savings as they move into adulthood but managing an account will also improve their financial capabilities.
“The Child Trust Fund Cymru will mean that young people in Wales will have extra in their accounts when they turn eighteen. The extra payments for children from low income families will give a leg up to those young adults who need it the most. But it is not just about what the Government can contribute, I hope the trust funds will encourage family and friends to invest in the future of Welsh children
“I am particularly pleased that so many of our credit unions are able to offer Child Trust Fund customers with an accessible and competitive service. It is particularly important for those who do feel more comfortable dealing with a local, the mainstream banking sector.”
Application forms for the Child Trust Fund Cymru will be distributed via local education authorities by the end of November and should be returned to the Welsh Assembly Government by the end of December to ensure payment this financial year. Parents of children who are home schooled or attend independent schools should contact the Welsh Assembly Government.