The magic money tree was a favourite metaphor of Theresa May. Cash doesn’t fall magically into our laps with every stiff breeze, we were often reminded. Like George Osbourne’s comparison of government and household budgets, it has been criticised a lot by those who believe greater government investment can be prudent and responsible. But if Liz Truss’s brief premiership has taught us anything, it’s that careful spending matters more than some thought. As we move closer to a likely recession, public spending windfalls will be few and far between—regardless of who is in power. This is why what we do with the Dormant Assets funding matters enormously.
Dormant Assets are private bank accounts and other assets which have not been touched for many years. After best efforts to track down the owner have failed, the money is put to good use via the National Lottery Community Fund. So far over £800m has gone to causes around the country, mostly through Big Society Capital, but also through the Youth Futures Foundation, Fair4All Finance and Access Social Investment.