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Public Sector Debt: Gifts and Endowments

Treasury written question – answered on 29th June 2020.

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Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard Conservative, Blackpool North and Cleveleys

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on what date the UK Debt Management Office created an online form to assist with cash gifts to the Donations and Bequests Account for the purposes of reducing the National Debt; how many gifts of what (a) individual and (b) combined value have been made using that form; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of creating an online payment facility to assist in making those gifts.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The statutory functions of the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt (CRND) are carried out within the United Kingdom Debt Management Office (DMO). CRND’s main function is the investment and management of government funds.

Section 8 of the National Debt Reduction Act 1823 created the Donations and Bequests account which, as its title implies, is used to handle donations and bequests from public-spirited members of the public for the purpose of reducing the National Debt.

Since the form was added to the DMO website on 15 May 2020, the account has received three donations for £20, £1,000 and £15 respectively, for a combined total of £1,035.00.

Historically, members of the public have occasionally made contributions to this account. Previously the process was by paper correspondence and cheque. The introduction of the form now provides an accessible method to make a cash donation to this account.

Details of the amount of historic donations can be found in the CRND combined receipts and payments accounts which are available on the DMO website via the following link

https://www.dmo.gov.uk/publications/annual-reports-and-accounts/

In considering whether to introduce an online payment facility, we would take into account set-up and running costs versus any likely increase in donations, alongside any customer due diligence, anti-money laundering and data protection concerns.

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