Government delay stops charity appeal

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The Independent Online
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A 4m advertising campaign to persuade people to give more to charity has been postponed because the Government has not come up with its share of the money.

The campaign of television, poster and newspaper advertisements was the idea of 30 of Britain's biggest charities, and was to have been launched this summer. The aim was to 'raise substantially the level of giving across the voluntary sector'.

Michael Brophy, director of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: 'We are very disappointed. We think the Government might have approved it months ago.'

Leading charities fear that because of tight public spending, the campaign may be abandoned. Sir Tim Bell, Baroness Thatcher's image maker, has advised on the presentation of the campaign, which has the support of Lord Whitelaw, chairman of the Council of Charitable Support.

The top 30 charities, which include the National Trust, Oxfam, the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and the Cancer Research Campaign, have pledged 500,000. Money has already been spent devising slogans, artwork and a logo.

John Major is said to have been personally enthusiastic about the idea and the Government unofficially promised 1.5m. Private industry has promised a further 2m but only if the Government gives its share.