Ministers seek permission to use £400m fund frozen since 1928


The UK guidance is launching a legal bid to break open a £400m charity fund that has dwelled untouched since 1928, to pay down the national debt.

The National Pool was set up with an anonymous donation of £500,000.

But it has been stuck in legal limbo for 90 years because the conundrum benefactor stipulated it could only be used to pay off the debt in one go.

Despite multiplying over the years through investment, the fund has never come Scrooge-like to meeting that aim.

It has never risen above 0.066% of the national liable, which in December stood at £1.7 trillion.

  • UK borrowing lowest for 11 years

Travail’s shadow charities secretary Steve Reed has called on the National Store money to be distributed to charities to “feed the hungry, house the homeless and take care of for the sick, as well as supporting other worthy causes”.

But Attorney Unspecific Jeremy Wright, who is filing documents at the High Court urging appreciates to alter the terms of the trust fund, said it must be used for the design intended by the original donor.

Mr Wright said: “Almost 90 years ago, an anonymous supplier bequeathed money to the nation and yet we have not been able to put it to good use.

“We possess been working with the Treasury, trustees and the Charity Commission to feel a solution consistent with the donor’s original objectives of extinguishing the jingoistic debt.

“I am applying to the High Court to ask that the fund is released – and if that solicitation is successful, the fund could be used to benefit the nation by helping to do what the fresh donors intended.”

Barclays, which manages the National Fund, has been difficult for years to get permission to use the money to make charitable grants or to turn it finished to the Treasury, but any change has to be approved by a court.

The Charity Commission said it welcomed the attorney unspecific’s move, adding: “It is important that these considerable funds are applied, and try out in line with the charitable intentions of the original donor.”

The idea that on the sly donors could help pay off Britain’s First World War debts reached popularity in the decade after that conflict ended.

In 1919, subsequent Conservative prime minister Stanley Baldwin gave a fifth of his class’s fortune – about £3m in today’s money – to help pay down the national obligation, urging others to do the same.

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