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Backbenchers oppose charity tax cap

Almost two thirds of Conservative and Liberal Democrat backbenchers are opposed to the cap on tax relief for charitable donations, a poll has suggested.

The survey, commissioned from ComRes for the Charities Aid Foundation, questioned 71 MPs over the Easter break amid claims the move will harm good causes.

Of those, 46 agreed that charity donations should not be subject to the new limit with 15 supporting the policy and 10 not expressing a view.

A large majority (93%) agreed that the Government "should do all it can to use the tax system to encourage charitable donations from wealthy donors".

John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: "The Government now needs to listen and act on to this clear message from coalition backbenchers, as well as from ministers, charities and donors, and reverse this ill-thought through tax change.

"The arguments against this blanket restriction on major donations are frankly overwhelming. It is absurd that proposals to raise a small amount of extra tax revenue from generous philanthropists risk big falls in donations to things like medical research, hospice care and education.

"Clearly, any abuse of the system is quite wrong and damaging to the work of charities. We absolutely must work with Government to ensure that where any abuse occurs, all necessary measures are taken to eradicate it.

"But a blanket cap on tax relief for giving is not the way to do it. It is not the rich who will suffer from this tax cap, it will be disadvantaged people and the causes we all care about."

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said: "The fact that the majority of coalition backbenchers oppose the proposed cap lends further weight to the thousands of organisations and individuals who have already spoken out via the 'Give it Back George' campaign.

"The Government needs to reverse the decision as quickly as possible, as the widespread alarm and uncertainty is already impacting on vital donations." Aid Foundation)


From Belfast Telegraph