Martin Lewis, the renowned Money Saving Expert, issued an apology for what he described as “terrible phrasing” during a segment on Tuesday night’s airing of ‘The Martin Lewis Money Show’ on ITV.
Context of the Apology
During the episode, Lewis was discussing unclaimed Child Trust Funds, potentially worth up to £1,000. The error occurred while explaining who might be missing out on this money. Realizing his mistake, Lewis took to social media, formerly known as Twitter, to apologise for his choice of words.
In his apology, Lewis said: “Just realised in the heat of live show I said ‘adoptive children or your children’ – terrible phrasing, sorry. Adopted children are of course your children.” He emphasized the importance of highlighting that many adopted children aged between 12 to 21 might have unclaimed Child Trust Funds, urging parents to check on gov.uk.
Understanding Child Trust Funds
Child Trust Funds are long-term, tax-free savings accounts set up for every child born between September 1, 2002, and January 2, 2011, with the government contributing an initial deposit of at least £250. These funds become accessible when the child turns 18.
Survey Insights and Importance
A UCAS-conducted survey revealed that a majority of university students are curious about the amount in their Child Trust Fund and how to claim it. According to Angela MacDonald, many 18-21 year-olds could significantly benefit from these funds for various milestones like university, first jobs, or homes.
Claiming Child Trust Funds
With over 5.3 million open accounts, young people aged 16 or over can control their Child Trust Fund, but withdrawals are only permitted after turning 18. More than 500,000 accounts have been claimed or transferred since September 2020. Families can contribute up to £9,000 annually tax-free until the account matures.
Advice from Experts
Sharon Davies, CEO of Young Enterprise, encourages young people to check if they have unclaimed funds in a Child Trust Fund. She highlights the life-changing potential of these funds, especially for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and stresses the importance of financial education and planning from a young age.
Martin Lewis’s quick response to rectify his phrasing error reflects his commitment to clear and sensitive communication on financial matters. The episode serves as a reminder of the importance of Child Trust Funds and the need for awareness about these valuable financial resources.