By Kate Brown
The UK government is seeking permission to open and use a £400 million frozen fund to pay down the national debt. The fund was initially set up in 1928 with an anonymous donation of £500,000 but has been frozen for 90 years because the mystery benefactor stipulated that it could only be used to pay off the debt in one go.
The fund has grown through investment over the last 90 years, however has yet to rise above covering more than 0.066% of the national debt which reached £1.7 trillion in December 2017.
Steve Reed, Labour’s shadow charities secretary, called for the fund to be distributed to charities in order to “feed the hungry, house the homeless and care for the sick, as well as supporting worthy causes”. However, Attorney General Jeremy Wright argues that the fund must be used for the original purpose proposed by the donor.