Dormant bank accounts to fund Cameron's Big Society

'Big Society bank' would take cash from dormant bank accounts
'Big Society bank' would take cash from dormant bank accounts

By staff

Labour legislation enabling the government to grab money in disused bank accounts will be used to help fund David Cameron's Big Society agenda, according to reports.

The prime minister is expected to announce plans in a speech in the north-west of England tomorrow that social enterprises, charities and community groups would benefit from money in dormant bank accounts.

His Big Society idea struggled to penetrate voters' minds during the general election campaign despite its prominence in the Conservative party manifesto.

A poll for YouGov found 44% of those who know about it approve of it, however, compared to 16% who disapprove, suggesting Mr Cameron is right to continue to advance it.

The Big Society formed a significant part of last week's prime minister's questions, when Tory backbenchers raised the concept to illustrate projects in their own constituencies.

"We will want to do everything we can to help what used to be called, rather condescendingly, the third sector but I believe is the first sector: the excellent charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises that do so much for our country," Mr Cameron said.

"One thing we should do is look at funding them on the same basis as the government fund themselves."

Around £400 million could be raised by taking money from bank accounts which have been dormant for at least 15 years.


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