Communities: Charities and Volunteers

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:27 pm on 13th February 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 4:27 pm, 13th February 2019

In my new role in this Department, I have found nothing but complete expertise to absolutely make this work. If the hon. Gentleman would like to raise a particular issue relating to his experience, I would be happy to hear from him directly.

There is more that we can do to help vulnerable people across the country. We are working with the banks and the building societies to unlock millions of pounds from dormant accounts. Instead of gathering dust, that money is being invested in helping our young people into employment and in tackling problem debt. In 2018 alone, £330 million of dormant assets funding was announced, and by 2020, the total distribution from dormant accounts will reach more than half a billion pounds. We will expand that scheme further to help more vulnerable people to benefit. This funding is changing lives for the better, with £90 million helping the most disadvantaged young people into employment and £55 million tackling problem debt. These initiatives are led by two independent organisations.

The Government want an economy that works for everyone in every part of their life. We are building a strong foundation for social impact investing, which is bringing more capital funding to social enterprises and charities in the UK, alongside traditional forms of funding for these organisations. I am mindful that lots of people want to speak, so I shall try to commute my remarks, but I want to get these key messages out. This works in practice. Since its launch in 2012, Big Society Capital has committed more than £520 million and leveraged more than £1.2 billion of additional co-investment into this space.

The Government are building on these successes and will be using a further £135 million from dormant accounts to help further charities and social enterprises. In addition, the Government have commissioned an advisory group, and the Prime Minister has personally asked for an industry-led implementation taskforce to deliver its recommendations. We also have an inclusive economy partnership, where we work with businesses such as O2, Landsec and Accenture and with social innovators to find practical solutions and to unlock the issues on the ground. We also have the This is Me programme, an inclusive workplace programme that focuses on mental health issues, and it is working with Landsec. This is an area in which we are working with business and the community to ensure that we can deliver on the ground.