Pundit Martin Lewis' £10m charity donation saved by U-turn


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The Independent Online

TV money pundit Martin Lewis would have dramatically reduced a £10m donation to charity after selling his website business Moneysavingexpert on Friday, had the Government not performed a U-turn on the charity tax.

In the first major example of an act of philanthropy being salvaged by George Osborne's reversal on a Budget pledge to cap tax relief on charitable donations at £50,000, Mr Lewis told The Independent on Sunday: "That helped make up my mind. I would have given some money to charity from the deal but not as much if the planned tax had remained in place.

"It was ridiculous that gifts to charity, where the money comes out of the donor's pocket, were somehow treated as a tax dodge; it was insulting."

Mr Lewis, who regularly appears on ITV's Daybreak, agreed to sell his business to the comparison site Moneysupermarket last week for £87m, and immediately pledged £10m of it to good causes. The first £1m is an outright cash gift to Citizen's Advice, which is in direct response to government cuts in funding for the organisation. He said: "We are in the middle of the biggest financial and debt crisis in our history, and what happens to the funding for the main vehicle for giving financial advice? It is cut – totally shameful."

The remaining £9m is to be placed in a charitable trust to be distributed at a later date.