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More an 'Am I in fact mental?' I suppose...

(42 Posts)
curiositykilled Thu 10-Sep-09 19:14:14

<<disclaimer: I am a terrible prig with no sense of humour>>

I really dislike the money the Government give each child for the 'Child Trust Fund'.

My main issues are:

1. You cannot refuse it as a parent but you are expected to 'manage' the account for your child. I personally, want my children to work for their money or save it themselves or at the very least for me to have control/choice over my own financial responsibilites and those of my minor children.

2. The money will be worth different amounts for each child which is not fair.

3. It is a massive waste of Government cash - the money is likely to be worth nothing 18 years from when it is given.

4. It is hard to tell whether 18 year olds in the future will need the cash whereas it is clearly today's 18 year olds would benefit greatly from a £250 cheque in this recession.

Basically I think the money will be wasted and would if the Government wants to give handouts to 18 year olds they should give them to the 18 year olds of today.

I realise it is free cash and you may will all think I am a bit insane for actually moaning about it grin I am interested to see if anyone agrees with me?

<<steps back>>

curiositykilled Thu 10-Sep-09 19:15:46

* clear not clearly
* would rather if the Government wants to give handouts...

MyCatIsABastardFleaBag Thu 10-Sep-09 19:18:20

TBH I hadn't given it a thought and was/am just grateful for the free cash. It was a nice way to start a savings type plan that I was going to do anyway.

MrsVik Thu 10-Sep-09 19:21:50

I'm not living in the UK right now and my knowledge of this scheme is sketchy at best. Is this trust fund set up in a way that the parents and others can add too? Like a bank account that people can pay into?

If that's the case then I think it's a good thing. 250 pounds is not much, but it might encourage parents or other relatives to add to it as they see fit in a way that may not even have occurred to them otherwise.

If you don't want your child to have a trust fund, just never add to it Like you said, 250 in 18 years is not going to be much at all.

I think it sounds like a nice scheme with good intentions behind it. Maybe a cynical person would see it as an obvious attempt at vote grabbing, but I think it encourages people to think about their children's financial futures.

LongtimeinBrussels Thu 10-Sep-09 19:22:54

Hi curiosity - glad to see you're still around. Again, don't mean to stalk you but had to click on a thread with "Am I in fact mental" in the title!

As I live in Belgium this doesn't apply to me but as an outsider it does seem to be yet another hairbrain idea the British government has had that will do nothing to solve any problems, current or future. They seem to be full of them if the news is anything to go by.

Now, I'm not saying the Belgian government is perfect because it isn't (not wanting to bore you but we have a minister for all three languages and all three communities plus a federal one so we've got them coming out of our ears and they honestly couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery - the in-house fighting over trivia (usual linguistic) is amazing!), but I don't see them coming up with anything like this (too busy fighting maybe?).

LongtimeinBrussels Thu 10-Sep-09 19:24:48

(I'm going to get flamed for commenting negatively on British politics when I don't even live in Britain, aren't I?)

curiositykilled Thu 10-Sep-09 19:26:06

lol longtime - good to see you!

WorkInProgress Thu 10-Sep-09 19:27:43

Curiousity, I agree with you. It's a waste of government money IMVHO. I would be interested to know how many parents add to the fund. We don't, because a)we have an older child who wouldn't get the same and b) there are better ways of saving. Interested to find out how many agree/disagree with us!Then there is the whole child benefit debate.....

peanutbutterkid Thu 10-Sep-09 19:28:30

I've heard a lot of ppl on MN voice the same concerns as you, OP.
My thoughts are, in reply to your points:

1) Doesn't bother me
2) I can top up for my individual children to make it "fair".
3) The Govt. "wastes" lots of money; they have wasted money in other ways that bother me much more.
4) I think that your point 4) contradicts what you said about 18yos should earn their way, and what others usually say in this debate about 18yos having no sense with money, anyway.

I suppose it's an experiment and we'll have to see how it pans out.

Tidey Thu 10-Sep-09 19:31:52

The only reason I think it's a tiny bit unfair is that it was introduced when my son was 9 mo, so he didn't get it, but my daughter did get it. This is a daft reason though. as obviously they had to choose a start date somewhere so clearly some children would miss out. Both DC have bank accounts that their GP put money in. I don't add anything to my daughter's trust fund.

Having said that though, it is not really that much so I hope my son doesn't get all bitter over his little sister having more money put away than he has.

alarkaspree Thu 10-Sep-09 19:36:06

I think they are a silly idea too. The government give you a small amount of money, which they would like you to top up every year to make a large amount of money for your child to have when he/she is 18. Well, I don't want my children to get £40,000 when they are 18 to do what they like with, they might spend it all on handbags and shoes. If we have money to save for them I'd prefer to have more control over what it's spent on so we will save it in our own names.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 10-Sep-09 19:45:19

agree with the op. also - this extra money to be given at seven, what is the benefit of leaving such a gap between gifts? other than two lots of admin costs that ensures a lot of busy work for some government department. just give the whole lot at once if you are going to.

florence2511 Thu 10-Sep-09 19:47:13

I like the idea of the child trust fund for my DD.

My Grandmother is putting a certain amount of money in for her every year and to be honest I am not going to tell my DD about it.

The money is there for her when she turns 18, but conditions, and big conditions apply. The money is there to towards a deposit for a house/flat/whatever for her in the future. It is not to spent on frivilous items and certainly not a car. My Grandfather gave all of us grandchildren some money and all of us have put it towards our home deposits. He was a very keen investor and did not want us squandering his money on a car (as the value depreciates very quickly).

TheProvincialLady Thu 10-Sep-09 19:53:17

I think it is a massive waste of money. If the government invested that money and used it to provide grants for higher education, training, apprenticeships etc then everyone would benefit. The amount of money that is going to be spent on drink, holidays and shit cars really makes me angry. Like alarkasree I don't want to contribute to a fund that my DSes can squander at an impressionable age.

The REAL beneficiaries of this are, as always, the financial institutions who provide the accounts.

LovelyTinOfSpam Thu 10-Sep-09 19:57:12

The issue I have with these is that you are strongly pointed in the direction of a stocks and shares linked savings plan. If you don't deposit the money yourself the govt do it for you and i bet they put it in the stock market. The money is then tied up for 18 the (16?) years.

Thus it's just siphoning off huge piles of government money to go invest in the stock market, which they want to do to help the economy etc. But they are pretending that really it's for the kiddies.

There are much better savings accounts available on the market but of course you can't put the money in those.

With all of these universal benefits I would rather they gave more to the people who really need it.

ArcticLemming Thu 10-Sep-09 20:02:04

The problem with "topping up" the child trust fund is that based on this scheme they get their hands on it the minute they become 18. While I don't want to sound a miserable old bat, I know from experience that not all 18 year olds are automatically sensible. If I've saved on their behalf I would rather be able to have some sort of control when the receive the money - be it 16, 18, 21 or even older - i.e. when I think they can really use it and won't piss it down the drain.

Tidey Thu 10-Sep-09 20:02:14

I didn't open an account for DD and it was handed over to a stockbroker company, LTOS, yes.

Pitchounette Thu 10-Sep-09 20:03:28

Message withdrawn

Exactly what ArticLemming said, of course we will take the £250 and run but there is no way I am adding to that as it's rare that an 18yr old will get a sum of money and spend it on something sensible. I will be setting up a savings account that they have no access to until I say so!

Meglet Thu 10-Sep-09 20:11:18

In general I think CTF's are a good idea but giving it to 18 year olds may be a disaster and will be partied away. Would be better if the money was witheld until they started university or wanted to purchase a house / car / driving lessons. Most kids will turn 18 in their second year at college / a-levels and living at home, its going to be carnage when they get that money. I'm not topping up my dc's CTF for that reason, they have seperate trust funds I do contribute to but they don't get their little mitts on the money until I say so, even if thats when they're 21, 25, 30 etc. I was an idiot when I was 18 and frittered my savings accounts away, I don't want my dc's to have the same temptation.

girlafraid Thu 10-Sep-09 20:13:59

The tories are bound to get rid of this when they win the election next year

Callisto Thu 10-Sep-09 20:25:33

I agree with the OP also. A terrific waste of public money which will get pissed up the wall by the majority of teenagers as soon as they hit 18 (and why not?). And what happens if your child is addicted to heroin or some other nasty substance? Not a good idea to give an addict a lump sum like this really.

Also the £250 DD got 3 years ago is worth around £220 this year (from a high of £360 last year) all due to the fuckwittage that went on in the financial sector.

I hope that the Tories do get rid of this and countless other money wasting schemes if they get in next year.

PortBlacksandResident Thu 10-Sep-09 20:27:30

DS1 had no CTF (just missed out), when DS2 got his my parents gave the equivalent amount to DS1 to put in his bank account (which was very lovely of them i know). DS2 also has bank account but without this money in.

DS1 has earned interest on his.
DS2 has lost money in the last year on his (negating very slight gains in previous years).

If i had the money to add to CTF i still wouldn't dream of it. As you say - it will mean bugger all in 12 years time.

Callisto Thu 10-Sep-09 20:27:37

I meant to finish that second paragraph with a '...so it's not even a good way of saving.'

bronze Thu 10-Sep-09 20:31:08

Well as I dont understand the kind of accounts we were supposed to use I just set up the trust fund accounts with out bank. I'm glad I didnt add to them though and used a normal savings account for that because they are now worth less than half the value they started at.
Wish we could have put that money into a normal savings account too.

Pitchounette just seen your post. Seems ours arent the only ones.

Who actually knows enough about these kinds of accounts. Oh yes bankers and the like. People who probably earn more and are more likely to be able to provide/unifees/car etc for their children

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