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A trust fund for every baby

Letter from Westminster - 10 January 2005

Saving for our children's future is something we all mean to do, but the expense of bring up a young family can often make it difficult.

Imagine if a savings account had been opened for your children at birth, a significant first deposit had been made by the government, that members of your family had contributed whatever they could afford, and that interest built up over almost two decades. Just think what your children could do with that money when they turned eighteen. Now, thanks to Labour, this is going to be a reality for thousands of children throughout Bristol South.

Earlier this week I joined Gordon Brown to launch the Child Trust Fund. From now on, the government will be sending a payment of £250 to parents of children under two, which can be taken to banks and building societies and put in a tax free savings account. Some families will get even more, with £500 going to children in families with an income of £13,000. It is simple too: if your baby was born any time after September 2002 and you are registered for child benefit, you will get the payment.

The Child Trust Fund marks another important step towards achieving Labour's ambition of fairness for all. It also gives us a great opportunity to teach young people how to make the best of their savings. So, alongside the payments, practical advice will teach kids the value of money and give them skills that they can carry into adulthood.

I want to ensure every family entitled to the Child Trust Fund gets their payment. If you think you are entitled to a payment, but have not been sent a letter from Inland Revenue, please get in touch with my office on 0117 909 0063.

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