Minister to Consult on Dormant Accounts eary in 2008
The Bill defines dormant accounts as those that have had no customer-initiated activity for a period of 15 years. It is anticipated that dormant accounts could initially amount to more than £500 million across the UK, with tens of millions of pounds recurring annually thereafter. Northern Ireland will benefit alongside the other UK Administrations, on a population basis. Initially, additional resources have been estimated at between £10 million and £20 million, with hundreds of thousands of pounds each year thereafter. Mr Robinson in his address to the assembly said "I emphasise that the funds will not form part of public spending.
As for the priorities to benefit from these assets, the Bill provides a general definition of “social or environmental purposes” on which unclaimed assets may be spent. It is within that overarching theme that the Assembly will be able to set its own spending priorities in Northern Ireland, and those priorities will be reflected in the directions given to the Big Lottery Fund for distribution.
The dormant accounts scheme has the potential to deliver real benefits to communities across Northern Ireland by freeing up resources that are lying idle in dormant accounts and reinvesting them in needy communities. Should the Assembly give its consent to the Bill’s provisions, it will have an excellent opportunity to set the priorities for spending Northern Ireland’s share of the proceeds.
Elsewhere in the news
- Assembly Committee discusses dormant accounts responses
- NICVA proposes innovative schemes for dormant accounts
- NICVA Drafts Response to £20m Dormant Accounts Consultation
- Update on Dormant Accounts Funding in Northern Ireland
- £20m for good causes
- Dormant Accounts Still Slow to Awake
- Snooze You Lose? Dormant Accounts Pre-Consultation
- Dormant Accounts Fund Roundtable
- Unclaimed Assets Consultation Reports
- Balance makes first awards