Parliament Taxation: Comic helps launch Brown's charity scheme

CROSS-DRESSING comedian Eddie Izzard yesterday donated pounds 40,000 to charity to launch a new Treasury scheme to boost charitable giving.

From today Izzard will be starring in a series of high profile television and press advertisements to promote the Gift Aid 2000 scheme, which allows tax relief for donations of pounds 100 a year, or more.

The Government hopes that it will encourage young people, who make one- off donations to charities like Comic Relief, to become regular givers. The Inland Revenue will add basic rate tax to the donation, so that every pounds 100 donated will be worth pounds 122 to charity.

It is aimed at countering criticism that the success of the National Lottery has led to a steep fall in the money going directly to charities, particularly among young people.

The advertisements will be reinforced with reminders on cinema tickets and beer mats.

Launching the campaign yesterday the Chancellor, Gordon Brown said: "What makes it even more special is that if you give the taxman will give as well making your contribution go further."

For more details of Gift Aid 2000, call 0845-075 2000

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