Over three thousand Cambridge kids are at risk of missing out on £1500 of cash each that is rightfully theirs.
The money is languishing in Child Trust Funds, a savings account which were given to newborns between September 2002 and 2 January 2011. As part of the scheme, every account was credited with between £250 and £500 free from the Labour Government to encourage mums and dads to boost their child’s savings. Some accounts received top ups on a child’s seventh birthday.
Around a quarter of Child Trust Funds were automatically set up by HMRC when parents did not set up the account themselves before their child’s first birthday.
However estimates suggest that 3267 accounts in Cambridge risk being lost to the young people they were set up for. These are accounts where the address of the child has changed or where families have simply forgotten about the accounts.
After the fund was scrapped in 2011 by the Coalition Government when the Lib Dems claimed it was ‘little more than a gimmick’ there has been little publicity around the scheme. But next year, the first young people with accounts will turn 18, and have the chance to withdraw the cash lump sum.
Daniel Zeichner MP said: “The Child Trust Fund was designed to give every child the best possible start in life and to create a savings culture. Sadly the Coalition scrapped the scheme and it hasn’t had any publicity for nearly a decade – so it is not surprising some people have forgotten about them. The cash is safe but it ought to be going to the youngsters it belongs to. Let’s track down the missing young people.”
Daniel is pictured from when the scheme was launched.