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Child Trust Fund.

June 2, 2010

When Rachel was a few weeks old, we received a letter about her Child Trust Fund. I dutifully gave the letter to the Natwest, and £250 was given to them to invest on the stockmarket- money I had never seen, and probably never will. As poor as I am now, at the time we had a household income of  £80k per year. If you take away this £25o, I lose nothing- although that is £250 less for Natwest to gamble with.

My stepsons both received EMA while they were in 6th form. By some accident of regulation, a large portion of our income as a household didn’t count towards the qualifying amount for EMA. Having a 16 year old, who won’t get any kind of job, and who refuses to play a responsible part of your household, and not even having the leverage of being the person providing their disposable income….a pain in the arse.

I am a believer in universal benefits, but I don’t know what these benefits achieved.

When I was at 6th form I lived on less than £30 per week, and paid £10 of that to cover the shortfall between housing benefit and my rent(Tory government introduced a ‘single room rent’ rule for under 25’s- unfortunately it didn’t actually cover the rent on a single room). I really needed something like EMA, or the Child Trust Fund, but I can be fairly confident in saying that Rachel won’t.

I am fairly angry about the cuts that are coming, but it does seem that there is a damn sight more uproar about middle class wants, than the actual needs of the poorest people.  In fact punishing the poor seems to be something taken on with relish, whereas people appear to be very upset if things they quite liked are taken away in times of trouble.

Rather than opposing every cut- can’t we assess them on the basis of an understanding that there are priorities- and maybe is time to start asking what criteria should guide this process. The difference between NEED and WANT?

Or could we at least have some of the outrage that is sparked by cutting things people want, when we are talking about the things that people NEED being cut?

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One comment

  1. I so agree! I’m one of the lucky ones. I don’t need these things, and whilst they are nice to have, I’d rather they go to someone deserving that needs them.

    There is so much in the press about the undeserving poor, and i don’t doubt they are out there. But what about those who could achieve so much but are never given the opportunity due to the circumstances they find themselves in.

    Well said.



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