It is reported that the Government plans to take money left in dormant bank accounts – they describe this as money left alone for ‘up to’ fifteen years (six months is ‘up to’ fifteen years) – put it in a ‘Big Society Bank’ (presumably owned by the State, not by ‘society’) and spend it on projects which would otherwise suffer due to the government’s austerity programme.
So who owns this money? Not the State, to be sure. If the account holder is dead, there are ways the deceased’s assets should be divided up. Without a will, some goes to the State, but only some. The rest is divided up amongst relatives. If the account holder is still alive, this amounts to theft by the State. Why shouldn’t someone have the right to leave their money alone for fifteen years without it being legally stolen?
So Mr Cameron’s big idea, ‘incredibly audacious’ he has called it, is to set up a State Bank, amend the law to rob private citizens of their money, and spend it on things the State think are deserving of it.
If Cameron thins this is new politics, he is quite mistaken. He is also mistaken if he thinks this is Conservatism.