New Clause 1 - Authorised reclaim funds: duty to assess and report

Part of Dormant Assets Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 8:00 pm on 31st January 2022.

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Photo of Alex Davies-Jones Alex Davies-Jones Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) 8:00 pm, 31st January 2022

I wholeheartedly agree with my hon. Friend. Part of the reason we tabled new clause 1 is for openness and transparency, so that the public and this House can scrutinise exactly where this funding is being placed. Scrutiny is at the very heart of our jobs here in this place, and an annual report brought forward to Parliament, as new clause 1 stipulates, would be a crucial step forward.

Lastly, on Government amendment 1, I am pleased to see the clarification around collective scheme investments. It is vital that such investments remain eligible for incorporation into the reclaim fund. I hope to see further assets incorporated in the future, as I stipulated earlier.

Ultimately, Labour supports the Bill as our priority remains expanding the dormant assets scheme in line with our commitments first made in 2008. The programme so far has been extremely successful, and predictions suggest that expanding the scheme in such a way would identify about £3.7 billion of unclaimed assets, of which about £1.7 billion would be eligible for transfer to the reclaim fund. From that, £880 million would be repurposed for good causes across the UK. Labour supports that extremely welcome step, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Minister to tackle the challenges around extending the scheme to other assets. I hope that he will take on board our concerns about future governance of the fund, too.