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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: The £2 Billion Challenge

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: The £2 Billion Challenge
The UK sub-postmasters' scandal is not just an issue for politicians: it deeply questions the quality and integrity of corporate governance, auditors and the legal profession: for example, surely The Law Society should have monitored the quantum of convictions and cried 'wolf'? The huge quantum of unclaimed adult-owned Child Trust Funds is a similar massive injustice for young people from disadvantaged and low-income backgrounds. Politicians, account providers and regulators need to take urgent action to tackle the £2 billion challenge: however, The Share Foundation is crying 'wolf' in this case — but will people listen? Background music: 'Missing Persons' by Jeremy Blake

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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: More Focus on Young People, please!

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: More Focus on Young People, please!
On 22nd May, following a Public Accounts Committee hearing in Westminster, our commentary was entitled 'Don’t waste the Child Trust Fund harvest!' It's now over three months since the oldest recipient of these accounts turned 21: with the percentage of unclaimed adult-owned accounts still over 40%, it's time to take action. So please register to join us on Tuesday 5th March at Church House, Westminster, for a major half-day event sponsored by NatWest and The Tracing Group calling for priority action to reach over one million young adults whose accounts, worth over £2 billion in total, are lying dormant because their young adult owners don't know anything about them. Background music: 'Everything Has a Beginning' by Joel Cummins. Register for 5/3/24 at www.sharefound.org/CTFconference

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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: 21st Century Elephant Traps

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: 21st Century Elephant Traps
In the old days we either telephoned someone for a quick answer to a question, or sent a letter which focused the attention of the recipient. Now huge volumes of emails fly across the net, and we're left waiting days for an answer. It may be cheap, but is it productive? Also — People think that debit cards are as safe as credit cards or direct debit authorities — until something goes wrong. And, if it's a continuous payment authority given to an overseas supplier, there's very limited protection available, beyond FCA guidance. Background music: 'Communicator' by Reed Mathis

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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: Account Providers need to Take Action!

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: Account Providers need to Take Action!
Dame Meg Hillier is Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, which has published its 25-page report into Child Trust Funds following the recent National Audit Office analysis. HMRC is asked to follow a series of recommendations to link young adults to their unclaimed accounts, including getting account providers to take more action. Young adults from disadvantaged households are most in need of the c. £2,000 waiting to be claimed in their Child Trust but an estimated one million 18-20 year-olds are not claiming their money because they don't know anything about it. As we said on 22nd May, don't waste the Child Trust Fund harvest! Background music: The Plan's Working - Cooper Cannell Image by Richard Townshend

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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: Don't waste the Child Trust Fund harvest!

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: Don't waste the Child Trust Fund harvest!
“The [Child Trust Fund] scheme has been closed to new entrants for over 12 years. In this time HMRC has been focusing resources on evaluating and improving existing schemes. We will continue to keep the need to evaluate old schemes under review.” So said Andrew Griffith MP, Economic Secretary to HM Treasury in reply to a parliamentary question from John Ashworth MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. But this is not an 'old scheme' — there is currently over £1.7 billion sitting in mature accounts belonging to over 900,000 mainly low-income young adults throughout the UK who don't know anything about their good fortune! Their Child Trust Fund harvest is seeing too little action at present: but it's not too late to get it sorted, and the current focus from the National Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee will certainly help. Background music: 'Hopeful Freedom' by Asher Fulero

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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: Resolution in need of foundations

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: Resolution in need of foundations
The Resolution Foundation's paper 'ISA ISA Baby' released last week drew a scathing response from This Is Money, and understandably so. Their analysis of the inadequate attention given to building savings and investment in low-income families was very much on target, but they chose to accompany it with an ill thought-out and uninformed attack on the most successful long-term savings and investment plan in the United Kingdom, the Individual Savings Account. The route to a more egalitarian form of capitalism is not by attacking aspiration by penalising those who are successful and thrifty. Savings are not just for a rainy day — they bring economic freedom. Background music: 'Resolution' by Wayne Jones

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