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Child Trust Funds to "teach kids about money"

08 January 2007
As Child Trust Fund (CTF) Week approaches (January 15th - 19th), economic secretary Ed Balls has said it is "really encouraging" that three in four parents are opening accounts for their children.

CTFs are now held by almost 2.5 million children across the UK, but the initiative aims to encourage more "parents, grandparents and whole families" to use the accounts, which are given to children with a £250 voucher from the government at birth.

Children are not able to access the funds until they reach 18, when the government hopes they will use the opportunity to 'roll over' their savings into an Isa.

But critics are concerned that 18-year-olds do not have the financial capacity to make the right choices - Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable MP commented: "There is nothing to stop children spending it on a cheap holiday when they're 18."

The Lib Dem solution is to scrap the scheme and invest the money in education, but Mr Balls prefers to underline the links between financial education and CTF saving, urging schools to use Child Trust Fund week "to teach kids about money and savings".

For more information about child savings, click here.

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