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We'd like your views about the Health in Pregnancy grant and Child Trust Funds

(39 Posts)
RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Nov-10 13:18:41

We've been asked to canvass your views about the Savings Accounts and Health in Pregnancy Bill, which is currently making its way through parliament. The bill concerns three schemes introduced by the previous Labour Government: the Child Trust Fund, the Saving Gateway, and the Health in Pregnancy Grant. These are now deemed to be unaffordable by the Coalition Government and will be brought to a close by the provisions of the Bill.

So if you've any strong (or lukewarm) feelings about the CTFs or the HiP grant, do please post them here. They will be fed back to the Commons Committee that is considering the Bill.

StealthPomBear Mon 15-Nov-10 13:21:32

getting on this thread...

Bonkerz Mon 15-Nov-10 13:22:22

The child trust fund isnt helpful to my family at all, DD got one but my other 2 children havent and being a family who needs all of their income we cannot afford to save for all 3. CTF a waste of government money unless you can afford to pay in to it!

HiP should have been given in vouchers to be redeemed against food in the supermarket TBH, I have seen many people cash this in and spend on nice things for baby etc which wasnt what it was intended for. Im also a little bitter as its being scrapped and i will miss the deadline by 2 weeks ;)

londonmackem Mon 15-Nov-10 13:23:26

HiP and CTF = Complete waste of money - better off keeping child benefit. As a family we received both. I bought maternity clothes with HiP (nice but not necessary) and we will not be adding to the CTF as we feel we want more control over any money our daughter has and will save in different ways/accounts. No idea what the Saving Gateway is so not missed by us!

StealthPomBear Mon 15-Nov-10 13:26:25

I assume it's the top up a child receives at 7

Indith Mon 15-Nov-10 13:32:32

I thought the CTFs were a waste of money when they were started and I still think that, I was pleased that they were axed. It is not up to the government to provide savings for my children.

The HiP grant was badly thought out and I don't for a momen believe that people quietly divided it my the number of months left of their pregnancy and used it to buy more fresh fruit/eat better. It was a nonsense. Those who really couldn't afford to eat well would qualilfy for the healthy start vouchers anyway (as I did when I had my first). The vouchers are far more sensible since they can only be used for milk (fresh or formula) and fresh fruit and veg.

The3Bears Mon 15-Nov-10 13:34:59

CTF I think a good idea if you can be bothered with it, most people I know werent and just left it to go wherever the government put it. I put money in my sons ctf every month and its all added up theres quite abit now.
If i didnt recieve the voucher for £250 I dont think I would of bothered to set up a savings account for ds as he was only 6 months and its the last thing on your mind, Im glad I recieved mine and its nice knowing there is something there for ds when hes 18

HIP grant I didnt recieve but I had friends that recieved it and put it towards a dearer pram or more baby clothes etc.
Dont think it was necessary they must know people arent going to spend £195 on fruit and veg like previous posters said would have been better in supermarket vouchers. Think the idea to give people more money for expanding their family was stupid and shouldnt have ever been brought in in my opinion.

StealthPomBear Mon 15-Nov-10 13:40:25

I think the ida behind the HiP grant was that no-one had any excuse for not buying fresh fruit and vegetables - they couldn't say they couldn't afford it.

expatinscotland Mon 15-Nov-10 13:43:01

Glad to see the back of all non means-tested grants.

We cannot afford them and they were gimmicks anyhow.

AppleAndBlackberry Mon 15-Nov-10 13:45:37

Both a waste of money especially the HiP grant which wasn't means tested (I think there are Sure Start grants for pregnant people who really need it aren't there?)

I don't like the lack of control over the CTF so we haven't added to DD's and are saving for her benefit in our own ISAs instead. It's also a bit annoying to now have one for one child and not the other.

Would have liked to see a higher threshold for removal of child benefit though, I know quite a few families who have around a 45K income and do rely on it.

Indith Mon 15-Nov-10 13:45:40

Well yes SPB but did they not stop to think "oh hang on we already give people who can't afford it vouchers to spend on fresh veg". If they really wanted to extend it to everyone then it needed to be in voucher form. In any case people are not, by and large, going to radically change their diet late on in pregnancy (when they give the grant) when they are all tired and pregnant. I would have thought you needed to target people earlier on.

Haliborange Mon 15-Nov-10 13:51:34

I think they were a mammoth waste of money to start with.

CTF was nice, but £250 really isn't going to translate to anything like enough to, for example, pay top up fees, especially not with the restrictions placed on investment of the CTF. Since they are replacing it with a mini-ISA parents can still save for their childre if they want (and can afford it).

Health in Pregnancy grant was a waste too. That money would have been better spent on post-natal care. I would imagine better post-natal care might save the NHS money as well. Just a thought.

These things were all frills when money should have been spent on something substantive.

What is the Saving Gateway?

Tee2072 Mon 15-Nov-10 13:51:42

Not only was the HiP grant not used by anyone I know for healthy eating, it was issued long after it really mattered what you were eating. If it had been available in the first trimester, maybe it would have been used for what it was intended, but so far as I remember, you didn't get it until you were 20 weeks. If you hadn't been eating healthy for your baby up until then, it was a bit late to start. I used mine for an Amby Hammock, I am not ashamed to say. But I eat healthy anyway.

CTF is useless. I put it into some stupid account where it will sit, probably still worth £250 when my son is 18, and opened an ISA for him (well, in my name, but the funds came from his 'welcome to the world' monetary gifts and will be added to by his XMas and Birthday gifts) since I have much more control over how the money is invested.

TinselinaBumSquash Mon 15-Nov-10 13:56:34

I am greatfull for the CTF - both my boys have one and we can afford to put £10 a month in, plus any money they get from family goes in there to, they wont have tons when they are 18 in fact i think its predicted at only £4000 or something but that is enough for them to learn to drive with or to help towards Uni (although not much!)
Without them they would have got to 18 and had zilch.

The health in pregnancy grant is rubbish i know not one person who has used it for its intended purpous.

Sure Start Maternity grant was better but i think it should only be given for the first child.

DinahRod Mon 15-Nov-10 13:58:58

Have no objection to these going; Child Benefit otoh I am far more aggrieved at and fundamentally opposed....

HIP is available after 25 weeks in pg - why? Pointless waste of money.

CTF - I initially topped up my dcs accounts and then realised there were more effective ways to save. A nice idea - given now the soaring cost of university fees - but given the state of the economy, not one the govt ought to be funding.

StealthPomBear Mon 15-Nov-10 13:59:19

no, I agree Indith, it was done to 'improve' antenatal care on paper while doing nothing to actually improve the health of the mother and baby.
Also agree it should have been done earlier on, but of course there are issues and complications around that. It was never workable.

ariane5 Mon 15-Nov-10 14:05:01

health in pregnancy grant should have been given as healthy start vouchers then there would have been no option than to use it for the intended purpose.

ctf is unnecessary and a waste of money,i hate to say it but i expect only a small proportion of 18 year olds will receive the money and use it for something sensible (i know that i wouldnt have unfortunately!)

sure start maternity grant should definately be restricted to first child only and the amount reduced as it is possible to get everything you need for one baby for a lot less than the £500 they are giving people, it should be more like £300. I managed to get everything for that amount so it is possible.

ANTagony Mon 15-Nov-10 14:17:16

Currently 29 weeks with no.3 and have just had my HIP grant. Its in the bank, all money gratefully received but isn't it a bit late for thinking about my health now? Not sure that it will make a blind bit of difference to what I eat/ my lifestyle. I'm trying to get a bit of exercise each day and like lots of fruit and veg anyway.

Wouldn't free pregnancy vitamins via midwife from when you first find out be far more relevant and cheaper to administer?

The CTF was a nonsense. The admin costs and fees they charge appear higher than a savings account you can get yourself. Also not sure that giving children a cash sum at 18 is wise. Would rather that the funds be directed into something i.e. uni fees or 18+ training support, new business investment or in place of the other thing being scraped to give kids who stay in education post 16 a bit of pocket money.

I like the idea of a savings account for children but again my concern is that not many 18 year olds are responsible enough to administer a large chunk of money. £40k (+ inflation) savings over a childs life to 18 would be great (if only) but if they had their hands on that money at 18 would it really last the three/ four years of Uni and pay the fees and living? I do try to put away for mine when ever there is anything spare, my parents are doing the same but we want to have control over how they receive this money so that it is used constructively and not on a blow out round the world trip, their girl/ boyfriends 18th Birthday or a car with noisy stereo and wide tyres.

ISNT Mon 15-Nov-10 14:25:55

These things I always thought were pretty stupid.

The other cuts they are making, I am livid about.

Will this come out as "MN mothers support govt spending cuts" I wonder.

4andnotout Mon 15-Nov-10 14:30:22

HIP and CFT were a big fat waste of time and cash.

I haven't been pregnant at a time to be eligable for the Hip but from people I know that received then they certainly didn't get spent on anything healthy!

The Ctf was pointless as dd1 never received one and we can't afford to top up the rest of the dd's so by the time they are 18 they will be worthless.

Tinkerisdead Mon 15-Nov-10 14:32:32

The CTF is the only savings account I use for my DD. And that is reluctant. I actually save money in my own name for her instead.

The CTF really put me off as at 18 the child has access to that money and I have no say. It really concerns me that at 18 my child may be like my brother and squander it all on drugs...or be like me and use it as a deposit on a house etc etc.

I wish I hadn't had the voucher as no doubt any other DC's I have will not receive the same, its going to cause problems as DD now has money coming to her at 18 that my other DCs wont have and I cant do a thing about it.

I choose to save my own money with a view that when and of they are old/responsible enough to use it wisely then I will give them a lump sum as I see fit. Not when the government thinks they have come of age!

Sidge Mon 15-Nov-10 14:46:25

I think they are a complete waste of money.

Parents should be responsible for their own and their children's health and financial affairs, not rely on Government handouts.

I am mildly resentful that taxpayers money is being given to pregnant women to spend on prams, clothes and fluffy teddies. I don't know one single pregnant woman who has used her HIP grant to buy anything remotely related to good health.

ariane5 Mon 15-Nov-10 15:01:58

the sure start maternity grant has to have been the silliest idea ever.fair enough if you are on a low income you need it to buy the basics but i know of one person who had 4 babies over 8 years got the grant for all four! thats £2000 of taxpayers money and she would have had all the baby equipment she needed from the first child.

Iam a single parent and qualified for it with all 3 of my dc BUT i chose not to claim for the second 2 as i didnt need it as already had buggy etc etc and i felt it would have been wrong to just pocket money that i didnt need.

hip grant i did get with last pregnancy and yes it was spent on healthy food.but i still think it is an unnecessary grant.i dont agree with child benefit cuts etc though.

ISNT Mon 15-Nov-10 15:46:09

These benefits should all have been targeted at those who needed them, and then they could have been higher ie enough to make a real difference.

ethelina Mon 15-Nov-10 15:54:51

The HiP was nice but like others i didnt spend it on healthy eating, I think we just bought... actually i dont remember. blush
I'm in 2 minds about the CTF. We got the £50 and haven't looked in depth at where to put it, unsure if an ISA in DS's nsme would be worth more.

I think there are probably more worthwhile places to put this government money.

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