Cuts Watch #282: Disabled children’s Child Trust Funds
In May this year we reported on the Coalition”s decision to cut the Child Trust Fund. But the press release that accompanied the cut of this particular universal family benefit suggested that at least disabled children had been protected, stating that:
Payments to disabled children due this year will be made, and the Government will ensure that the funding allocated for these payments in future years will be redirected to other forms of support for disabled children.
It now appears that while payments ‘will be made’ they will be paid at a level that is close to half of what would have been made available before the policy was changed.
Guidance published on Direct Gov in August, which until now we have failed to notice, states that the basic payment is being reduced from £250 to £50. While disabled children’s payments of £100 or £200 (depending on the they get the highest rate of care component of DLA) are still being paid, the £250 basic component of their award has not been retained, and, as is the case for families with non-disabled children, appears to have been reduced to £50.
The impact of this is that far from having their payments protected disabled children seem to have experienced a cut of £200 in the value of their Child Trust Fund payments. We await further details from the Government on how this money will be ‘redirected to other forms of support’ for disabled children, and will publish it here should we receive it.