Chancellor announces new child trust funds

Chancellor Gordon Brown has announced a new child trust fund for
every child, and the abolition of hospital accommodation charges
for older people.

The fund, which will be payable at age 18, will start with a
£250 endowment (£500 for the poorest third of children)
with further payments during primary and secondary school years.
Parents and grandparents will be able to contribute to the trust
funds, which every child born since September 2002 will be eligible

Brown also announced that charges imposed on older people in
hospital for meals and accommodation will be abolished with
immediate effect.

Older people aged over 80 will now benefit from an extra
£100 winter fuel allowance in addition to the current payment
of £200.

Foster carers will now benefit from tax relief on all income
they receive for their fostering work below a minimum for one child
of £23,000.

The Chancellor also announced:

– an increase in incapacity benefit for disabled people of
£19 per week

– a higher disregrard level for housing benefit for lone parents
so that people earning up to £213 per week are eligible

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