According to research by a leading Child Trust Fund (CTF) provider, The Children’s Mutual, children in the UK are set for a bumper Christmas this year, receiving £5 billion of presents. With generous friends and family set to spend 20% more than last year on youngsters, it seems the recession is not impacting kids’ stockings just yet.
The average UK child will receive £380 worth of presents this year, compared to £316 in 2008. In total, UK kids will have over £4 billion worth of toys and other presents underneath their trees, along with £960 million in cash, with each child receiving an average of £73. More than a quarter of lucky UK children will get £100 or more.
The Children’s Mutual is urging parents to take advantage of the generosity of friends and family this Christmas by asking them to invest in a present that could last a lifetime.
David White, Chief Executive of The Children’s Mutual, said: “It’s great news that the recession is not affecting kids’ stockings this Christmas. However we are urging parents to think about their children’s futures and ask friends and family to invest a portion of this money for the long-term.”
The Children’s Mutual also found that a lot of money is spent on presents that often don’t last for more than a couple of months.
David White continued: “Around £200 is spent on presents that won’t make it past Easter, but if this money was invested in a Child Trust Fund each year, it could be worth £6,100* by the time it matures when the child turns 18. This way friends and family can give a gift that could last well beyond the child’s 18th birthday and providing them with a nest egg for the future.”
According to figures from The Children’s Mutual, top ups into Child Trust Funds get a timely boost at Christmas with an average increase in ad hoc payments of just under 25% during the festive period.
Child Trust Funds are designed to provide a tax efficient, long term savings vehicle for all eligible children (born on or after 1 September 2002). Each newborn child receives a £250 Child Trust Fund voucher (£500 for low income families) from the Government when their parents register for Child Benefit. The Government will make a second contribution of £250 (£500 for low income families) when the child reaches seven and is considering a third in the child’s teenage years. Parents, family and friends can all then add to this account up to a maximum value of £1,200 each year.