Oxfam condemns Haiti single tax claims

A leading charity today described reports that VAT waived from the Haiti earthquake charity single was to be clawed back by the Treasury as "extremely disappointing".

Stars including Cheryl Cole and Robbie Williams sang on February's hit record, which was given the special tax treatment by Gordon Brown to help boost sales.



But the Independent newspaper reported that the Treasury was to claw back the lost revenue from the Department for International Development (DfID).



Max Lawson, Oxfam head of development finance, said: "It will be extremely disappointing if Malawi or Mozambique end up paying for the public's generosity by picking up Haiti's VAT bill."



But Downing Street released a statement which read: "The story is wrong. No money raised for Haiti will be deducted from other development projects or the DfID budget."



Number 10 said DfID would be reimbursing the initial cost of the VAT for the single, but had an agreement with the Treasury that "they will provide additional end-of-year financing to cover that cost".



"There will therefore be no impact at all on other areas of DfID's work or budget."



The single, a cover of REM song Everybody Hurts, sold more than 600,000 copies.



Proceeds were split between the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and The Sun newspaper's Helping Haiti campaign.



The Independent quoted a DfID official as saying "it was a bloody cheek" for the Treasury to deduct the waived VAT from its £6 billion budget.



Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Edward Davey told the paper: "This sleight of hand is a step too far. People who bought this CD in good faith will be disgusted to find out what the Prime Minister presented as an act of generosity was little more than the daylight robbery of funds intended to help some of the poorest people in the world.



"Gordon Brown must come clean on what aid programmes have suffered in order to fund this hollow gesture."



More than 200,000 people were killed when impoverished Caribbean republic Haiti was hit by a magnitude 7.0 quake in January.



Pop and TV mogul mogul Simon Cowell masterminded the charity single effort, which was publicly backed by Mr Brown.



This week countries and international organisations pledged more than £6.5 billion to rebuild Haiti.



It also emerged that former Doctor Who actor David Tennant was approached to play International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander in a theatrical dramatisation of the aftermath of the Haiti quake.



But Mr Tennant was unavailable for the role at a London theatre, the Times newspaper reported.



Nobody from DfID was available for comment.







Andrew Mitchell MP, shadow international development secretary, said: "This sleight of hand trick is sadly another example of Gordon Brown's willingness to deliberately mislead the public in order to get a good headline.

"It is all the more regrettable because the matter at hand is so serious, and the British public have been so generous.



"He should have simply been straight with people from the outset, rather than giving the impression that this was about additional money for humanitarian relief."





An Oxfam spokesman later said the charity was pleased Downing Street had pledged not to take the money from DfID's aid budget.

Suggested Topics
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Senior Research Fellow in Gender, Food and Resilient Communities

£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker