George Osborne waives VAT on NHS Choir charity single
Health charities have gained an extra cash boost from the NHS Choir charity single, after Chancellor George Osborne announced he will make a donation to them of all the VAT paid on the Christmas chart-topper.
The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir's A Bridge Over You racked up more than 150,000 downloads as it raced to Number One, helped on the way by superstar Justin Bieber, who urged his fans to help it beat his own Love Yourself to the top slot.
With VAT charged at 20% and downloads usually retailing at around 79p-99p, the new donation could be worth as much as £30,000 to the charities involved.
All proceeds from sales of the single are being donated to Carers UK, Mind, the Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health (NIAMH), the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and regional charities.
Mr Osborne said: "I was delighted to see the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir reach Christmas Number One and it is great news that health charities like Mind and Carers UK are to benefit from the proceeds of the single.
"The choir showcased the very best of the NHS and the charities it is supporting ensure that those experiencing a mental health problem and their carers get the valuable support they need. I hope this donation helps them continue their vital work."
The Government has previously waived VAT on the X Factor charity single, Save the Children single, Band Aid Ebola single, 2011's Military Wives Choir single, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake appeal single.