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Child trust fund is poised for major extension

The Government is believed to be preparing to expand the child trust fund to include an extra nine million children.

It is believed that the Inland Revenue has been consulting with the financial services industry over the viability of offering the fund to all children under 16 as a result of pressure from the Treasury select committee and lobbying groups.

The fund is presently set to be delivered to all children born after September 1, 2002. However, it is believed that a new proposed cut-off point would include all children who will be under the age of 16 in April 2005.

Treasury select committee chairman Labour MP John McFall says he has been raising the issue of widening the scope of the fund at committee level.

The Inland Revenue would not comment on whether it was talking to the industry on this issue.

An industry source says: “The Inland Revenue is looking at extending the CTF and is talking to the industry about the practicality of the move.”

McFall says: “An important issue that I have tried to stress is how to spread the benefits of this trust fund across the family. If discussions are going on about trying to do this it is a move in the right direction.”

An Inland Revenue spokesman says: “The child trust fund is applicable for all children born after September 1, 2002. If there was going to be any change to the structure of the fund, it would have to come from Government.”

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