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Generous Brits among top for charitable donations

Published 02/02/2016

The UK has the fourth highest rate of charitable donations in a study of 24 nations
The UK has the fourth highest rate of charitable donations in a study of 24 nations

Generous Britons give more to charity than their European counterparts and citizens in most other comparable countries, according to a report.

The UK had the fourth highest rate of charitable donations in a study of 24 nations and topped all other EU countries that were looked at.

Government spending and the overall tax burden appear to have no significant impact on how much money people in a country give to charity, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) also found.

It suggested other factors, such as religion, culture and perceptions about the independence and regulation of the charity sector are likely to influence how much people chose to donate .

MPs last week warned c harity bosses to "put their house in order" after finding those who allowed scandalous fundraising methods to be used were either "incompetent or wilfully blind" .

Adam Pickering, international policy manager at CAF, said the organisation would track "public sentiment" about British charities over the coming months.

"It is obviously concerning but it is encouraging to see that the sector is trying to respond," he added.

CAF analysed donations in the 24 countries that had broadly comparable information available for its report, Gross Domestic Philanthropy: An International Analysis Of GDP, Tax And Giving. The group of nations accounts for three-quarters of the world's GDP and more than half the global population.

Researchers found that giving by individuals as a percentage of GDP was highest in the United States of America at 1.44%, followed by New Zealand, 0.79%, Canada, 0.77% and the United Kingdom, 0.54%.

Of the EU countries looked at, Italy and the Netherlands had the highest rate after Britain with 0.30%, followed by Ireland on 0.22% and Germany on 0.17%.

The report also analysed the impact of taxation and government spending and the amount given to charity and found there was " no significant correlation" except for employer social security charges.

Mr Pickering said: "Across the 24 nations we studied, we found no significant link between government spending, income or corporation tax and the proportion of GDP donated by individuals.

"This suggests the relationship between the amount of taxes people pay and the amount they give to charity is not as clear cut as some may have thought. The factors which motivate people to give, and influence how much they give, are incredibly complex."

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