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5 Jan 2004 : Column 156Wcontinued
The Government endowments are a powerful incentive for a child's family to save. All eligible children will receive a Government endowment of £250. Children in households with a finalised claim to child tax credit (CTC) and income below the CTC threshold, currently £13,230, will receive an additional Government endowment of £250, making £500 in total. The Government will make further payments into accounts when children turn seven, and again, there will be an additional payment for the poorest children.
Ruth Kelly: The Inland Revenue is developing a dedicated website to provide a one-stop shop for information on the Child Trust Fund (CTF). It will include resources for a variety of audiences including parents, family members, children and teachers.
The Government will also work with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to include the CTF in their consumer information activity. This will include incorporating the CTF into the FSA consumer website.
When a married couple separates or divorces, both parents retain parental responsibility. They are required to make an arrangement at the time of the divorce or separation specifying the arrangements for the child, which in practice, covers matters like living arrangements and contact arrangements, but would be encouraged to seek advice and agreement on other issues which could include the child's Child Trust Fund.
The general law reflects the principle that parents should not be regarded as losing their position and ability to take decisions about their children, simply because they are in dispute with one another about a particular matter.
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what scoping exercise his Department has conducted to assess the likely contributions those on low incomes will make to child trust funds. 
Ruth Kelly: We have asked Deloitte, an independent consultancy, to carry out detailed quantitative and qualitative research on the impact of different charge cap structures on the Child Trust Fund (CTF) market. This research includes analysis of likely contributions into CTF accounts.
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Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what will happen to contributions and interest payments made to a Child Trust Fund while the Inland Revenue is considering whether or not a child is eligible for the topped-up endowment. 
Ruth Kelly: The Government will pay an initial endowment of £250 into every eligible child's CTF account soon after it is opened. Children in families receiving child tax credit (CTC) and with a household income below the CTC threshold (currently £13,230) will receive an additional £250. This will be added to the CTF account once the CTC award for that year is confirmed.
Any contributions made into the CTF account or interest arising on the funds in that account in the period between payment of the initial Government endowment and the additional endowment will remain in the CTF account and no tax charge will arise on any income and gains.
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will allow investment companies to charge a basic administration fee for Child Trust Funds which would be topped-up by a performance-related administration fee. 
Ruth Kelly: In England Wales and Northern Ireland where a parent under the age of 18 has a child who is eligible for a CTF account it will not be possible for that parent to manage their child's CTF account. This is because although parents have parental responsibility for their children under the Children Act 1989 they do not have the legal capacity to enter into binding contracts to purchase equities.
As a result they are not able to make decisions about CTF accounts. In these circumstances the Inland Revenue will open a stakeholder account CTF account on behalf of the child. Once the parent reaches the age of 18, they will be able to assume responsibility for managing their child's CTF account.
The situation is different in Scotland where 16 year olds are entitled to make their own decisions about their property, including CTF accounts. This means that a parent aged between 16 and 18 in Scotland will be able to manage their child's CTF account.
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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average council tax was (a) gross and (b) net of rebates as a percentage of equivalised disposable income in each income quintile for (i) pensioner households and (ii) non-pensioner households in 199798. 
|Quintile groups of all households ranked by equivalised disposable income|
|Quintile points(43)(equivalised disposable income, £ per year)|
|Gross council tax as a percentage unequivalised disposable of income|
|Net council tax(44) as a percentage of unequivalised disposable income|
(41) Household reference person is economically inactive and over minimum state pension age.
(42) Council tax is not paid in Northern Ireland
(43) Equivalised disposable income at the boundary point between two quintile groups.
(44) Net council taxes after deducting benefits and discounts.
Office for National Statistics, based on the analysis 'The effects of taxes and benefits on household income,' published on the National Statistics website
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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the (a) average equivalised disposable income and (b) gross council tax in money terms was for each income quintile in 200102; and if he will make a statement. 
|Quintile||Income boundary(46)||Average unequivalised disposable income||Average gross council tax|
(45) Council tax is not paid in Northern Ireland
(46) Boundary point between equivalised disposable income quintiles
Office for National Statistics, based on the analysis 'The effects of taxes and benefits on household income', published on the ONS website.
5 Jan 2004 : Column 160W
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