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Bank fines boost for charity single

Fines levied on banks for misconduct will fund a VAT waiver on a military charity single, the Government has announced.

Chancellor George Osborne promised last year that fines for abusing the Libor system would be spent on funding military and emergency service charitable causes.

The money has previously helped to fund the Invictus Games and mental health support for police, ambulance and fire service staff.

All Together Now is performed by the Peace Collective, a group of UK musicians and under-12 footballers from the UK and Germany.

It is a re-recording of a 1990 hit single by The Farm, which was inspired by the famous First World War Christmas Day Truce in which British and German troops suspended hostilities, exchanged food and played football in the No Man's Land mentioned in the lyrics. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the truce.

Money raised from the sale of the single will go to the British Red Cross and the Shorncliffe Trust, a charity which is building a heritage centre in Kent dedicated to the history of the Army.

Mr Osborne said: "I want as much money as possible that is made from this single to go towards supporting our brave armed forces - that is why I am giving back the tax paid on sales.

"It's only right that we use the centenary of the Christmas Truce of 1914 to commemorate our soldiers who fought for this country in the First World War, and to support our brave forces who are still fighting to defend Britain."

The move brings the song in line with X Factor winner Ben Haenow's single in aid of children's charity Together For Short Lives, and past charity releases which also had their VAT waived, including 2011's Military Wives single, and the Haiti earthquake appeal song in 2010.

Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander said: "The Christmas Truce was one of the most moving moments of the First World War, when soldiers laid down their weapons and found their common humanity. That's why this Government is commemorating it a century on.

"The Government is determined to use the funds raised from fines for the public good, which is why we're using the proceeds to support two very important charities - the British Red Cross and the Shorncliffe Trust."

The money equivalent to the VAT on sales of the single will be donated directly to the charities.

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