The Chancellor has today (Thursday 6 November) announced that the government will waive the expected VAT of up to £1.1 million from sales of the poppies used within the First World War commemorative installation, The Tower of London Remembers: Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, at The Tower of London.
Using some of the LIBOR fines collected from the banks, the government will donate an amount equivalent to the expected net VAT receipts from the sale of the poppies, which is £1.1 million, to six charities who provide valuable support to injured Armed Services personnel and their families.
The six charities that will benefit from today’s announcement are:
Announcing the decision to waive VAT on the Tower of London Poppies, the Chancellor George Osborne said:
Each one of these Poppies brought from their Derby factory to the Tower of London represents a British soldier who answered the call from their country a century ago and made the ultimate sacrifice.
Their sacrifice reminds us of the part played throughout recent times by our Armed Forces to preserve our security and freedom, and of the debt we owe them. It is therefore right that we use the fines from those who’ve demonstrated the worst of values to support those who demonstrate the best of values everyday.
The 888,246 fundraising poppies were made by ceramic artist Paul Cummins. Stage designer Tom Piper and Historic Royal Palaces have worked together to install the poppies in the moat of the Tower of London to commemorate British military fatalities during the First World War.
The Tower Poppies are being sold by Paul Cummins Ceramics Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red CIC with the support of Historic Royal Palaces.
All net proceeds plus a guaranteed 10% from every poppy sold will be shared equally amongst six service charities, continuing to support the families of the injured service personnel.
The government’s donation will be up to £1.1 million equivalent of the expected net sum of the VAT receipts collected on sales.
The VAT will be refunded in the form of a charitable donation.
Image by nonelvis on Flickr. Used under creative commons.