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Last Updated: Friday, 14 January 2005, 18:51 GMT
Have your say: Child Trust Funds
Information packs and vouchers for the new Child Trust Funds are on their way to parents, and a major advertising campaign is to begin on the 17 January.

All children born from 1 September, 2002, will get 250, and the poorest third of families will get 500, which must be invested in a special CTF account.

A second payment will be made when the child reaches seven.

Are you a parent waiting for your vouchers to come through? If so, what do you plan to do with the money?

Would you be prepared to risk it on the stock market, or would you rather keep it in a savings account?

Do you think CTFs are a good idea? Or is it a waste of taxpayers' money?

If you would like to comment on the government's new child trust funds please send us you comments using the e-mail form below.

We are waiting to receive our voucher and will most likely invest it in shares. We will top it up to the maximum as long as we can afford to do so.

That said, I am not a fan of the scheme. I think it is crazy to give 18 year-olds so much cash with no strings attached.

The same government that is passing around a few hundred pounds to the nation's children, just took away education the previous year
Karin Briscoe
I would be sick, if my husband and I scrimped and saved in order for our daughter to have a wild party in Ibiza, or something like that.

I believe a much better way to ensure the future of this nation's children is to offer them a free tertiary education.

Unfortunately, the same government that is passing around a few hundred pounds to the nation's children, just took away education the previous year.

It is like offering children a few pieces of cheap candy instead of a proper dinner. Only the immature, silly, or stupid would think it a good trade.
Karin Briscoe

I am surprised by the negativity in the comments on this page. The CTF does not stop parents having other investments as well, and pensioners already get more tax breaks in the form of higher personal allowances.

So let us welcome a move that means that many children will have at least a little capital to start them off when they reach 18.
Gary Simpson

Why can the money not go into my son's pension? By the time he retires he will need every penny he can get!

After listening to the government minister explaining how lucky I am to be paying 250 and more later, to other people's children, I am now really convinced that not only is spin alive and well, but also it is 1984 again.

How wonderful to use my taxes from a small retirement income for such a great cause!
Ian Graham

I think to lock away the taxpayers' money for 18 years is totally unacceptable, particularly when so many pensioners are struggling to pay their Council Tax.

This is purely a pre-election gimmick.
Tony Daly

The government's contribution pales in comparison to that parents and relatives can contribute. The charges of 1.5% a year could easily absorb the whole of the government contribution.

People would be locking up their own money for 18 years for no effective gain.

The good news is that there are many alternatives for children who do not get the CTF because they were born before September 2002, and these are just as suitable as the CTF accounts themselves.

Child Bonus Bonds, Mini cash ISAs, and Child Investment Plans, do not suffer from the restrictions of a CTF account. For example you can have more than one at the same time, and most importantly you can take out the cash before the age of 18.

So only half a cheer for the CTF really!
Paul Miller

Once again, another government idiosyncrasy where the biggest taxpayers get the least benefit.

Our daughter will be disadvantaged because both her parents work.

The CTF value is relatively miniscule, so we have already been setting aside her child benefit, and current saving on her behalf, though may look for a specific tax efficient scheme in the near future.
John Bates

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The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. It is helpful if contributors state if they work for any organisation relevant to an issue discussed. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.

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