Figures published by HM Treasury suggest a third of all child trust fund (CTF) vouchers issued remain unused, although the ratio of earlier vouchers used is higher.
In numbers terms, it means 1.65m accounts have been opened as of 20 May, against 2.49m vouchers issued.
Of the vouchers issued for children born between 1 September 2002 and 6 April 2005, when the CTF was officially “launched”, some 75% have now been used to open accounts, the government says.
It admits, through economic secretary to the Treasury Ed Balls, there is “more work to do to reach new parents and to encourage the active involvement of those parents whose child has an account”.
“We will be doing further promotional work over the summer and autumn in the run up to the launch of the first annual report in September,” says Balls.
The latest figures published are already subject to revision, as the statutory cooling-off period applied to new accounts means there is a time lag in the reporting of used vouchers.
Over time, the government ought to report 100% use of the vouchers as those which remain unused 12 months after issue expire, at which point the government automatically opens a stakeholder CTF account on behalf of the relevant child.
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