Teens’ plea: Don’t scrap our savings

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COURAGEOUS teens from Halifax who have been through the care system lobbied MPs on the abolition of savings for children.

Six teenagers from Halifax joined six others from across England on a trip to Westminster to urge the government to urgently rethink plans for children in care.

From January this year, MPs abolished the child trust fund ISA savings account (CTF) for every child in the UK.

The accounts matured as the young people turned 18 and children’s charities Action for Children and Barnado’s - who organised the youngsters’ trip - said the loss of this nest egg is particularly painful for children in the care system.

Natalie Hunter-Paul, trainee social worker for Action for Children, travelled down with the chilren.

She said: “They’ve all stood in front of a room full of MPs and won them over. There wasn’t one person against it by the end. They’ve all done really well and worked so hard.

“They told MPs when they don’t have families around for financial and emotional support, having the government savings account was a safety net - for things like driving lessons, college fees.”

“They spoke about how having some savings would change their lives and it went really positively with all the MPs.”

One of the teenagers, Zoe Wright, 19, said: “I spoke in the House of Commons but I wasn’t scared about doing it because of how strongly I feel about this.”

Shivon Thorley, 19, said: “I put a lot of my thoughts into the presentation we made and I spoke to MPs afterwards. A lot of them didn’t know the facts and I think our voice was heard. It is really important that our thoughts count as much as anyone else’s.”

l Do you think children’s savings should be abolished? Email yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk