National Fund

Attorney General written question – answered on 17th March 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Labour)

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Keen of Elie on 14 March 2019 (HL14162), what was the outcome of the Attorney General’s application to the High Court on 22 May 2018 to release the assets of the National Fund; and whether that charity’s up-to-date accounts have been filed with the Charity Commission.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

The National Fund was created in 1928 with the purpose of paying off the entire national debt. At present the fund cannot be used unless it completely clears the national debt, due to the terms of the fund’s charitable trust.

On 22 May 2018 the then Attorney General made an application to the High Court to vary the terms of the charitable trust so that the National Fund can be used to help pay down the national debt.

It is now for the High Court to decide whether the terms of the charitable trust should be varied. If the application is successful the money in the fund will be paid over to the National Debt Commissioners towards the reduction of the national debt.

The hearing in the High Court is scheduled for October 2020.

The website of the Charity Commission indicates that the accounts of the National Fund for 05 April 2019 are overdue.

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