Get Red Pepper's email newsletter. Enter your email address to receive our latest articles, updates and news.

×

Doing it for the kiddies

Dear Subcomandauntie, I've just been sent £256 from Gordon Brown's Child Trust Fund (CTF) to invest for my nine-month-old daughter's future, but I don't have a clue what to do with it. I understand I can either invest it in stocks and shares or a bank or building society account. Is there an ethical option? Yours, Sleepless in E9

April 1, 2005
2 min read

Dear Sleepless,

It makes auntie’s old bones tickle to see someone sucked in by such an obvious bribe. For the confused, the CTF is a savings and investment account started up with a government cash gift for all UK-resident children born after 1 September 2002.

First, let’s be clear: you must put the money into one of three CTF accounts. Investing in a savings account is the safe bet, but won’t yield much: according to fund management group F&C, if the CTF had been invented 18 years ago, that initial £250 would be worth a measly £652 today. You could also invest in shares (chosen for you by a government-approved financial adviser). F&C says £250 invested in the UK’s largest companies 18 years ago would be worth £1,427 today. Or you can choose a stakeholder account: the money is invested in shares until the child is 13, at which point some of it is moved to safer investments to guarantee summink remains by the time the kid’s 18.

The Co-operative Insurance Society has teamed up with the Children’s Mutual to offer the only ethical CTF at the mo. But while it excludes tobacco, weapons and nuclear companies, ethical giants like BP and GlaxoSmithKline still get your loot.

The government hopes you will add to the fund yourself, and stick everything on the stock market. Parents are allowed to invest up to £100 extra a month. That could net £45,000 by your daughter’s 18th birthday. But think about this: by the time today’s tots have graduated they are expected to be in debt by an average of £43,825. Surely that’s just a coincidence.


Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.

Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani

Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week

A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes

Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.

Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu

Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns