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15 November 2006

Barrett calls for helping hand for charities

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, today called for action from parliament to help the thousands of Scottish charities who currently miss out on more than £80 million a year in lost tax contributions.

The Edinburgh West MP made the call after a report by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations found that £900m is lost to charities every year across the UK because donors fail to tick the Gift Aid box when giving donations.

Under the Gift Aid scheme, charities can claim a 28 per cent addition to public donations from the Treasury - but only if the relevant form is completed.

Mr Barrett wants a debate in parliament to quiz treasury ministers on how the system can be improved to ensure charities receive all the Government help they can.

Mr Barrett said:

“Gift Aid is a rare example of the Government giving something for nothing. However, with donors having to tick the correct box to opt-in in to the scheme, it doesn’t happen on its own.

“I would encourage everyone who gives money to charity to take up the option of gift-aiding their donations. It costs donors nothing and yet makes a massive difference to charities across the country.

“I would like to see the Government taking a fresh look at the way in which Gift Aid operates to ensure that charities and donors alike get the most of the scheme. I hope a debate in parliament will help raise awareness of how best to move forward.”

The Scottish SPCA, whose headquarters are in Mr Barrett’s Edinburgh West constituency, lose hundreds of thousands of pounds each year through lost Gift Aid funds.

Scottish SPCA spokeswoman Michelle Feenie said:

“We estimate that we are still losing up to £275,000 every year through donors not choosing to gift aid their donations. This sum of money could obviously make a huge difference to our own charity and to the all too many abused, neglected and abandoned animals we deal with each year.”


Notes

Mr Barrett has applied for an adjournment debate entitled 'the taxation of charities'

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gift aid / VAT for charities

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.