Use dormant assets to help the charity sector, Brexit Party manifesto says

Up to £2bn in dormant assets could be released for the sector, but the party also advocates a hard Brexit and halving foreign aid spending

The Brexit Party's battlebus (Photograph: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The Brexit Party's battlebus (Photograph: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Brexit Party has pledged to expand the use of dormant assets in the charity sector, its manifesto says.

The party’s "contract" with the public, which it has published instead of a traditional manifesto, also promises to maintain the level of EU grants and subsidies for current UK recipients.

The contract says the party wants to "extend the use of dormant funds to support civil society", but gives no further details on how this would be achieved.

Money in dormant accounts can be donated to good causes if they are completely untouched for 15 years or more and the owner cannot be contacted.

A government-backed report by the Dormant Assets Commission in 2017 suggested that unlocking dormant assets such as shares, bonds and pensions could raise £2bn.

Four industry champions for the pensions, insurance, securities and wealth-management sectors were appointed last year to help expand the dormant assets scheme in these four sectors, following on from the successful scheme using dormant bank accounts.

A blueprint for unlocking these funds was published earlier this year.

Sector bodies, such as the Charity Finance Group and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, have called on dormant assets to be used to create a Community Wealth Fund, which would finance charity sector infrastructure, particularly in deprived communities.

Other policies included in the Brexit Party’s contract that would affect charities include abolishing inheritance tax, redirecting 50 per cent of the foreign aid budget to domestic causes, reforming business rates and scrapping the apprenticeship levy.

The party also called for a hard Brexit, but has declined to back a no-deal Brexit in its contract, instead favouring avoiding any further delays.

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