Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration, if any, they have given to using funds derived from dormant assets in England to combat loneliness; and whether using funds for this purpose will be included as an option in the first public consultation under section 18A of the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008.
Until the Dormant Assets Act which has just received Royal Assent, dormant assets funding in England had to be spent on youth, financial inclusion, and social investment. Given this restriction, which was set in primary legislation, the Government was not able to consider other causes such as loneliness.
We have now expanded the Scheme, and new primary legislation enables greater flexibility to consider evolving social and environmental needs in England. In line with the Dormant Assets Act , the first consultation launched for the expanded Scheme will include youth, financial inclusion, social investment wholesalers, and community wealth funds as options. As part of the consultation, which will be launched as soon as this Summer, respondents will be able suggest formally alternative causes for which the English portion could be used, including loneliness.