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Charities (Tax Relief)

Volume 175: debated on Thursday 5 July 1990

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from charitable organisations on the decision to introduce new tax reliefs for single gifts to charity; and when he proposes to issue detailed guidance for donors and charities on the arrangements for claiming relief.

Charitable organisations are enthusiastic about gift aid, the new tax relief for single gifts to charity. Detailed guidance will be made available in good time for the start of the scheme.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the Charities Aid Foundation and other organisations have welcomed the Budget as the best news ever for charities? That is also shown by the fact that in the past few years the income of the 200 major charities has more than doubled. The Government have shown that we wish to restore the generosity of spirit of our people, who give to charities in which they feel most involved. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the negative, carping attitude of Opposition Members, who think that the work of voluntary organisations should be taken on by the Government, shows the lack of generosity of spirit on the Opposition Benches?

My hon. Friend puts his point extremely well. The Charities Aid Foundation was gracious about the budgetary elements that I announced earlier in the year. I hope that a large number of people will take the opportunity of the new tax relief to give generously.

Does the Chancellor really believe that The Adam Smith Institute should be treated in charity law in the same way as Barnardos, the Save the Children Fund and Oxfam, when all that The Adam Smith Institute does is to pump out irrelevant, right-wing nonsense and rubbish?

Perhaps The Adam Smith Institute should be treated in precisely the same way as the Fabian Society, as indeed it is.