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Lords concludes line by line check of Dormant Assets Bill

24 June 2021

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The Lords completed its line by line examination of the Dormant Assets Bill in committee stage on Wednesday 23 June.

The Dormant Assets Bill seeks to bring more financial assets into the dormant assets scheme, allowing them to be distributed to good causes.

Line by line examination

Committee stage is the first chance to check the bill in detail and make changes.

Proposed changes

Members speaking had put forward changes (PDF) (amendments) to the bill to discuss. For example making new community wealth funds operate independently from the Big Lottery Fund and including charities and communities in the consultation process.

Get involved

Watch or read the debate

Catch up on Parliament TV  or read a transcript in Lords Hansard.

Explore further information

Read impartial research on the bill in the House of Lords Library Dormant Assets Bill briefing.

Next steps

The bill now awaits report stage, a further opportunity to closely scrutinise elements of the bill and make changes.

What's happened so far?

Committee stage day one: Monday 21 June

Members speaking discussed changes on issues including a regular review of the dormant assets scheme, reclaim funds and community wealth funds to distribute money. 

Government amendments

The government regularly makes technical changes to bills in the House of Lords. It put forward amendments needed to ensure that the bill works properly as law. 

Members were critical of the technicality, number and the range of issues impacted by the amendments, saying clear drafting was not thought through properly at the outset.

Members asked the government to give further clarification on what some of the amendments really mean before report stage, which the government agreed to do.

Find out about all the issues members discussed: catch up on Parliament TV or read a transcipt in Lords Hansard.

Second reading: Wednesday 26 May

The House of Lords discussed the key areas of the bill in the second reading debate.

Money for good causes

Members were generally enthuastic about the bill's aim to extend the Dormant Assets Scheme and give more money to good causes.

How to spend the money

They discussed the the size of the assets that will be released, how the money should be spent and public consultation on the distribution of funds.

Reuniting assets with owners

Members said the bill should provide greater potential both to reunite people with their assets, with requirements to trace, verify and reunite the owner with their asset before transfer, and to release money for good causes

Too many powers?

Some members raised concerns about the number of delegated powers in the bill. 

Find out about all the issues discussed: catch up on Parliament TV or read the transcript in Lords Hansard

Image: Unsplash / Colin West