The shopping list for Hamley’s festive line up features; Roboraptor (£89.99), Tyco’s Cyber Shocker (£74.99), Steam Along Thomas (£49.99) and the Darth Vader Voice Changer (£39.99) - Totalling £254.96.*
That’s just £4 over the Government’s minimum Child Trust Fund voucher, which is £250. The upper voucher of £500 is worth £108.09 more than the cost of the top ten toys put together.
Amidst claims that the Child Trust Fund scheme is failing, Engage has seen an increase in Child Trust Fund applications, boosted by the Government’s recent advertising campaign. Between September 05 and November 05, CTF applications increased by 24.19%, and Engage is helping families on lower incomes to save more regularly, with a low minimum investment of £5.
Double the contributions
50%** of Engage CTF customers make regular contributions to their accounts – nearly double the average of those surveyed of 26%†, according to independent research earlier this year from BDRC. Engage is calling for further Government initiatives to raise awareness of the CTF, and welcomes the pre-budget proposals for payments at age seven. Karl Elliott, Child Saving Strategist at engage commented:
“It appears the Government advertising campaign is reviving awareness of the scheme. As the back-log of vouchers issued to eligible children pre-launch decreases, we would expect to see a gradual levelling off of applications, but this recent peak of activity proves the value of reminding people to invest their child’s CTF voucher”.
“Christmas is the ideal time to remind people to do this as most families with eligible children will be thinking about money to spend on toys, but they’re forgetting the free money lying unclaimed from their CTF voucher. While children may lose interest in most toys by boxing day, investing the CTF voucher could benefit them for years to come.”
- Engage offers one of the lowest minimum contribution levels of just £5
- 50% of Engage’s CTF customers make regular payments direct from their bank accounts, compared with 26% survey average†
- Engage offers the Child Trust Fund via partners including ASDA, Yorkshire Building Society, Debenhams, Skipton and NAAFI Financial, among others
**Engage Mutual Assurance MIS
†BDRC Syndicated Survey Wave 6 Jan – Jun 2005. Objectives: to establish parental awareness of the CTF, patterns of registration behaviour, savings intentions, account opening intentions and use of CTF funds.