The Chancellor George Osborne MP will waive VAT payments on the Tower of London poppies memorial display and boost the amount received by the beneficiary service charities. This should make an additional £1.1 million available.
The installation, Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, is attracting large crowds as the final ceramic poppies are put into place before 11 November.
When it is complete, 888,246 ceramic poppies will fill the moat surrounding the Tower. Each one represents a British and colonial solider who died during the First World War.
The Tower Poppies installation began in the summer and has involved teams of 11,000 volunteers placing the poppies in a growing crimson carpet around the Tower of London.
Tower Poppies charities
All net proceeds from the installation together with 10% from the sale of every £25 poppy sold will be shared equally amongst six service charities: Cobseco, Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, the Royal British Legion and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Families Association (SSAFA).
Every poppy has already been sold.
Payment from Libor fines to banks
Technically VAT is not waived. Instead the government will pay an amount equivalent to the VAT already charged to cover the sum.
The money will come from fines levied on banks that were caught manipulating the inter-bank lending rate Libor. George Osborne said:
“It is… right that we use the fines from those who’ve demonstrated the worst of values to support those who demonstrate the best of values every day.”
Other charity projects where VAT has been waived
Other major fundraising campaigns have benefited from VAT being waived or refunded by the government. These include sales of the 2013 Comic Relief single, sales of the Live Aid DVD and Band Aid 20 single for Band Aid Trust, and the Irish government refunded the VAT due on the 2004 remake of Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? single.
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