Questions in Commons over £475m charity which spends nothing on cause

13 Apr 2018 News

Steve Reed, Labour shadow minister for civil society

The shadow minister for civil society, Steve Reed, has asked government what action is being taken to close down the National Fund, a £475m charity which has spent nothing on its cause for 90 years.

The fund was set up in 1928 by an anonymous donor to accumulate money until it had enough to pay off the whole national debt. But its corporate trustee recognised in 2009 that since the debt is 4,000 times the size of the fund, the prospect of it achieving its objective is small.

Last week Civil Society News reported that the Charity Commission had referred the question of what to do with the money to the Attorney General’s Office in 2011, but that seven years on the AGO has not made any recommendation, or sought a ruling from the courts.

Reed has tabled a question asking Jeremy Wright MP, the Attorney General “what his policy is on the future of the National Fund”. He also intends to write to the AGO to ask for more information about the fund, and is likely to seek clarification on the issue from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

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