Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Uncharitable Charity


Water for Kids www.waterforkids.org.uk

I don’t respond well to the hard sell. I was accosted in Leigh Town Centre today by ‘charity workers’ for a well known charity trying to persuade me to sign up a regular direct debit. I already give more than the national average to charity and I choose which charities I donate to. Whenever I give I could keep receipts and declare the donations to the tax man. It’s easy to do and I’d get that rare joy of getting money back from the HMRC. But I don’t, I always make sure that I sign over gift aid so that the tax relief, to which we are all entitled, goes to the charity. Gift aid is a way of making sure the charity gets even more money for their good work. It is most definitely not a way of giving money back to the giver. For large donors to even suggest they will reduce their charitable donations because they will no longer get a rebate from the exchequer for doing so is, well, uncharitable. If it isn’t clear now then it should be made clearer that there is not, and never will be, any limit on the amount anyone can donate to charity. There is not, and never will be, a tax imposed on charitable donations. But in these austere times the country can no longer afford for the largest donations to be made out of untaxed income. The Coalition must not give in to the populist call or the weakness of the Lib Dem component. Tough times require tough decisions and capping the relief on the largest donations to charity strikes me as not a tough decision but eminently sensible.

The picture? A charity very close to my heart. Water for Kids providing safe drinking water to the kids in developing countries who need it most. Donate  ..... and don't forget the gift aid!

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