Should the government raid dormant accounts ?

The government has announced plans to use money from dormant accounts, bank accounts that the government believe to be unclaimed, in order to fund the building of more youth facilities across the country.

Whilst you can only applaud the government's new found commitment to supporting youth facilities, I am left wondering whether stealing money from what the government says are dormant accounts is fair, liberal and legal.

Yes, I am sure the government has a legal right, but morally you would have to describe the actions as theft. Then there is the question of fairness. Is it fair that someone who has left their money to sit in an account (I know I have such an account) for some years is then required to get a form and apply to get their money back from the government should the government take it ?

It seems the government can rustle up a few billion pounds to fight a war in Iraq, but when it comes to funding things at home they have to steal from people to do it. That does not seem right.


Simon said...

As I understand it, a dormant account is a bit more than an someone leaving a nest egg somewhere. You have to do a fair bit of ignoring important letters before the account becomes dormant.

Tom Papworth said...

I share your sentiment. This proposal is nothing more than legitimised theft. Just because it is unclaimed does not mean the government has a right to it.

To take a spurious example, what if the owner wanted it to lie dormant?

Even if it is genuinely forgotten, or even the remains of a long-deceased person's estate, the government has no automatic right to seize it.

As for "the government has a legal right", that rather depends on your view of the rule of law. It disturbes me that in the UK "legal" is whatever parliament says it is.

Norfolk Blogger said...

On the BBC "One Show" at 8pm this evening they had a feature on dorman accounts, pointing out just how many people had accounts in that they ahd not followed up on because they had moved or the bank or building society had cahnged name and people had lost track.

Anonymous said...

This may sound a little stupid but what ever happened to paying unto Caesar etc. This is not the governments money. If they can prove the account is owned by a deceased person with no relatives ok. They do not have the right.
Politicians are forever going on about giving us a written constitution, if this is the way they carry on when it is unwritten, just think what rights they will give themselves when they write one.
As I remember Magna Carta gave us all, the right not to have our good and chattels seized without due process.
If you will forgive me. I would like the government to get its hand out of my pocket, get its nose out of my life, and if it needs money come to the only place it can get and give us a valid reason for their need and tax us up front.
The government is elected to rule and not treat the whole of the UK as a treasure chest to be plundered at will.


Keith Cooper said...

The government is planning a re-generation of youth culture hoping to remove young people from the streets by opening 700 youth centres throughout the country. A worthy cause perhaps, but it’s the funding that seems a little dubious.

Bank accounts that have remained dormant for 15 years or more will be raided by the Government to raise the necessary funding. A haul of £300m will be Britain’s, and probably the worlds, largest ever bank robbery and this time they will get away with it.

Knowing the government of this country they will probably need to set up a whole new department for this, after all with a budget of £300m they can’t miss the opportunity for another Quango and goodness me £300m will need one.

How about the following for starters:-

Department name DoGBR (Department of Government Bank Robbers)

Chair Ronny Biggs
Operations Director Buster Edwards
Finance Director Michael McAvoy
Personnel directors Bonny & Clyde

So why is the government robbing the bank to pay for youth programmes? Isn’t this why we have the big lottery fund? Yes, and by the way the government will give the £300m to the lottery fund for distribution. As according to Ed Balls, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, and Ed Miliband, the minister for the voluntary sector using the lottery fund they will ensure low administration costs, meaning that as much money as possible reaches the front line.
Mr Balls says that the Big Lottery Fund has "the know-how and experience to distribute funds across the UK".

The problem here is that the lottery fund has already been plundered by the rising costs of the Olympic Games 2012 to the tune of £675m. One has to wonder how the government can justify their robbing of private accounts to bolster the lottery fund. Actually they do this by suggesting that the money would be better used for community development than simply sat in a bank account. Of course this completely ignores the amount of government money sat in bank accounts doing nothing. This is not private money but our tax money, public money.

If you want more the public money sat idle visit it’s a staggering amount! www.thelocalchannel.co.uk/politics

So daylight robbery by the Government, the biggest heist the world has ever seen, an Olympic finance fiasco, Ronny Biggs running a government department, but never mind our youth will have some lovely bright shiny new centre to smash to pieces and we can pick up the repair bill over the next 30 years or so.