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Child trust funds could be hit by charges

I read with disquiet that HM Revenue and Customs has confirmed that gifts to minors through an absolute trust will be treated as a chargeable lifetime transfer rather than a Pet and that is the opinion of Skandia that if it is a CLT it will be hit by entry, periodic and exit charges.

If this is correct, does it not follow that this will also apply to child trust funds and, if this is also correct, there appears to be no mention of this on the child trust fund website. The site only states that child trust funds are free from tax in income and gains but nothing about CLTs.

I have always thought child trust funds to be completely foolhardy in the way they give absolute control of the income at 16 and, worse still, potentially thousands of pounds of capital to a child who has just turned 18.

If the CLT on child trust funds proves to be so, the information on the website is entirely misleading and the unintended consequences of Government thinking will again be self-evident as well as misleading and in contravention of the FSA’s treating customers fairly regime.

But then that does not apply to Her Majesty'”s Government, does it?

On another topic, I have just heard that the Super Casino has been awarded to Manchester and, looking at the news reports comparing it with Atlanta and Las Vegas, I am quite horrified, mainly at the stupidity of the Government.

Personal debt in this country is at its highest level ever and this Government has given the go-ahead for a huge facility along with 16 smaller ones all over the country which will allow people who can ill afford it to throw away money in these establishments.

It beggars belief that Her Majesty’s Government cannot see that this will worsen the plight of people who are already in the greatest debt and who are likely to be unable to resist the temptation of these casinos.

I now would like to know why the FSA and other agencies are expecting us to pay towards the “financial education” of the public through our ever increasing fees when inane decisions like this have the effect of overturning any efforts to educate the people who most need it but are most likely to ignore it.

They will just go to the casino to see if they can pay their debts by gambling and thereby increasing their debts even more. We all know the only winner at casinos is the casino. Clever HMG.

David Barnett,
Principal,
DPB Independent Financial Services,
Edgware, Middlesex

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