ALMOST £900,000 has been donated to the Treasury to pay back national debt during this financial year – even as the government continues to add over £100bn each year to the UK’s debt, which exceeds £1 trillion.
Members of the public made 11 contributions in total, adding up to £898,540. The figure, the result of a freedom of information request revealed by the Guardian, is the highest overall donation since £1.08m was given in 2010.
It includes £520,000 left by former nurse Joan Edwards, which was originally split between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats for party spending, but after a public outcry was given to the Treasury. Almost £100,000 went on general government spending and £420,000 on debt repayments.
The Treasury does not advertise the option to donate to its coffers but members of the public can give money destined for a number of different causes. Donations are sorted and distributed depending on whether they are intended for government spending or debt repayments. The Treasury then uses debt repayment gifts to buy and cancel government bonds.
Donations for state spending are much lower; this year only the Lib Dem portion of Edwards’ gift was counted. The most ever given was £2m for debt repayments in 2000-01.