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CALL FOR£1,000 'BABY BONDS' TO FUND EDUCATION AND TRAINING

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Every child in the country shoudl be given a£1,000 'baby bond' at birth - which could be spent only on education, ...
Every child in the country shoudl be given a£1,000 'baby bond' at birth - which could be spent only on education, training, starting a business or buying a first home - a leading think-tank has said.

The Institute for Public Policy Research said the bond, which could be given at birth or at the age of 18, would help bridge the large and growing wealth divide in Britain.

The Financial Times (p5) reports that the idea has been endorsed by David Blunkett, the education secretary. He told a recent conference it was something the government should examine, and idea may prove a candidate for inclusion in Labour's next manifesto.

Modelled on a pilot scheme in the US, the idea is to create a form of universalism in the welfare state, but one that helps people to help themselves, say Gavin Kelly and Rachel Lissauer, the report's authors.

Invested at birth in equities, the£1,000 could build to about£3,500 at age 18. Families, friends and local business would be encouraged to put extra funds in, which the government would match at£3 for every£1 invested, but with the government's contribution tapered so that richer families did not get the matching funds.
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