The government has issued a press release today stating “Up to £330 million from dormant bank and building society accounts will be used to help the homeless, disadvantaged young people, local charities and other good causes in the UK over the next four years”.
Whilst the government has not made clear their definition of homeless or vulnerable groups in relation to this particular project, some may argue, relying on money from dormant bank accounts probably isn’t the best solution to these problems.
This money is actually going to be managed by Big Society Capital. An independent financial investment institution that manages the social investment. So, it’s not clear just how much of this money will actually be allocated to various charities and projects around the country.
The worrying aspect of this Tory press release is that Big Society Capital will “use it to leverage substantial private co-investment, to maximise the impact of these funds”. Private co-investment means there must be a profit returned from this investment. Private investment for profit definitely does not have the best interests of the homeless and vulnerable at heart.
sleeping rough on the streets.
Conservative MP, Tracey Crouch said, “By unlocking millions of pounds from dormant accounts for a range of good causes, we can make a real difference to lives and communities across the country.
This is part of the Government’s commitment to building a fairer society and tackling the social injustices that hold people back from achieving their full potential.”
So, the Government’s plan to tackle social injustice is to rely on taking money from other people in the same society. This is not a fairer society. Big Society Capital is also funded by investment from other corporate financial institutions that own shares in the organisation which, means it must make a profit in order for these shares to pay dividends to its investors.
UK homeless charity, Shelter, put forward numerous financial scenarios to the government in a report in 2012. One scenario outlined the cost of having to re-home one person as a result of being evicted after losing their job. This amounted to over £6000 in just two weeks.