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Unclaimed Assets Distribution

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 17 May 2007

The Government are today publishing a consultation document setting out proposals for the distribution of unclaimed assets within the UK. This second unclaimed assets consultation document—“Unclaimed Assets Distribution Mechanism: A Consultation”—follows on from the previous document published in March this year1 and provides further detail on how unclaimed assets will be reinvested in the community, with a focus, in England, on funding for youth services and financial capability and inclusion. The devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will determine their own priorities for distribution which reflect the needs of communities in each country.

The consultation document proposes using the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) as the main UK-wide unclaimed assets distribution body. BIG has a UK-wide distribution infrastructure in place, capacity to handle assets on this scale, extensive experience of delivering community programmes—with emphasis on young people, and the know-how on distributing funding through a different range of organisations, particularly from the third sector. Using BIG, an existing organisation, to distribute these assets will also help to limit spending on administration costs, meaning that more money reaches the front line.

The Government also want to use a proportion of unclaimed assets to help develop the social investment market and invest in the long-term sustainability of the third sector, and will look at another delivery option to channel funds into this area.

Copies are available in the Vote Office and the Library of the House.

1 A UK Unclaimed Assets Scheme: a consultation, HM Treasury, March 2007