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Dormant assets funding for charities: where are the missing millions?

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Civil society shadow minister Steve Reed MP

Thursday’s DCMS announcement that £330m in dormant assets is to go to charities falls well short of the total funds available, according to the Shadow Minister for Civil Society.

Steve Reed has called on the government to release the £2bn in dormant assets announced last March.

Last year, the then Civil Society Minister Rob Wilson announced up to £2bn in dormant assets would be made available. The government have yet to look at how that money will reach charities, so this announcement relies on an old scheme and covers just 10% of the money sitting in dormant accounts at a time when charity budgets are being squeezed.

Steve Reed also accused the government of offering money that had already been announced. According to Mr Reed’s office, DCMS admits that £135 million of the funding for Big Society Capital is merely a re-announcement of ‘existing funding commitments’.

Less than £200 million appears to be new money – considerably less than the £2 billion identified less than a year ago. Total new funding seems to amount to just £50 million a year for four years.

Labour’s Shadow Minister for Civil Society, Steve Reed MP, told Charity Today:

“It’s welcome that cash-starved charities will finally get some funding out of a government that’s spent the past seven years cutting them to the bone. But the money on offer is just a fraction of the £2 billion boost promised less than a year ago, and three-fifths of it has been announced before.

“The question on every charity treasurer’s lips is where’s the rest of the money?

“While any new funding is welcome, charities will once again feel short-changed by a government that misses no opportunity to undermine and sideline the sector.”