Hundreds of thousands of parents are missing out on a government-funded savings boost by not using their Child Trust Fund (CTF) vouchers, official figures have warned.
Of 2.49 million vouchers issued, by May 20, just 1.65 million accounts had been opened, HM Revenue and Customs has reported.
The government launched the CTF scheme on April 6 last year, providing vouchers worth £250 each for every child born since September 1 2002.
These are paid into a savings and investments account, which cannot be accessed until the child reaches 18 – with the twin intentions of giving all children some capital when they reach adulthood and of encouraging saving amongst young people.
“We will be doing further promotional work over the summer and autumn in the run up to the launch of the first annual report in September,” economic secretary to the Treasury, Ed Balls MP declared.
Vouchers which remain unused 12 months after issue expire, at which point the government will open a CTF account on behalf of the affected children.
Mr Balls acknowledged that there is “more work to do to reach new parents and to encourage the active involvement of those parents whose child has an account.”
To date, 75 per cent of the earliest vouchers issued (those relating to children born up to last April’s launch date).
HM Revenues and Customs produces CTF statistics on a quarterly basis. To read more about savings and investments, click here.
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