News story

Chancellor to waive VAT on Syria charity single

The Chancellor will waive VAT on sales of Crowned House's charity single to benefit Save the Children's work in Syria and Europe.


All VAT will be waived on Crowded House’s charity single, a re-release of ‘Help is Coming’, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

Profits from sales of the single will be donated to Save the Children, to support their vital work with children in Syria and Europe.

In recognition of the support Save the Children provides, the government will make a charitable donation to the charity, equivalent to the VAT payable on the sales of the single.

Save the Children helps to provide the basics child refugees need to survive, including shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene in Syria and neighbouring countries, such as Lebanon and Iraq.

The government has previously waived the VAT on the Band Aid Ebola single, 2011’s Military Wives Choir single, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake appeal single.

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

I am pleased to be able to say the Government will also waive the VAT on sales of this single, ensuring that as much money as possible goes towards helping these children. Save the Children is providing vital support to vulnerable children in Syria, and I wish this campaign every success.

Britain can be proud of the role it has played in responding to the tragedy we have seen unfold on Europe’s border. Our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on foreign aid, unlike any other major country, means we have been able to commit £1 billion so far to support those fleeing Assad and Isil, significantly more than any other European country. As the Prime Minister announced this week, we will also take in 20,000 refugees.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

The British public’s generosity and support for the thousands of refugees who are fleeing unspeakable misery and suffering is incredible – I am proud that my department and our UK Government stands right behind them.

We have already committed more than £ 1 billion to the Syrian refugee crisis, making the UK the second largest bilateral donor in the world. But there is always more we can do to reach out in particular to the most vulnerable including the children, many of whom have lost their parents and families.

Every sale of Help is Coming, with the VAT covered by UK aid, reaffirms this nation’s commitment to alleviating appalling suffering and bringing security, safety and peace of mind to those fleeing conflict and persecution.

Help is Coming was previously released on Crowded House’s 1999 album ‘Afterglow’, and has been re-released following a move from the band, Universal and Apple, and a campaign led by writer Caitlin Moran and her husband, broadcaster and writer Pete Paphides.

The band’s lead singer Neil Finn agreed to let it be used and offered Anthem, a previously unreleased song, as a B-side for the vinyl edition. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch has also been involved in the project, appearing at the start of a new video clip for the track.

The track is available to download now. The donation from the government to Save the Children will be equivalent to the sum of the VAT receipts collected on sales.

Published 11 September 2015