News story

VAT on WWI memorial charity single waived by government

This will be funded by fines levied on banks for abusing the Libor system, which the government has earmarked for military good causes.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


All VAT will be waived on the First World War memorial charity single, All Together Now, the government has announced.

All proceeds from the record will be donated to The British Red Cross and Shorncliffe Trust, which will use the funds to support the Heritage Park and Education Centre dedicated to the history of the modern British Army.

The success of this single will mean the VAT waiver will be a significant additional boost to these charities.

This will be funded by fines levied on banks for abusing the Libor system, which the government has earmarked for military good causes.

Performed by the Peace Collective, a collection of UK music artists and 60 under-12 footballers from both the UK and Germany, the single commemorates the centenary of the unofficial ‘Christmas Truce’ in December 1914 when Allied and German soldiers laid down weapons to play football in no man’s land.

Waiving VAT on this single is the latest step by the government to commemorate the First World War, which started 100 years ago: the government also waived the VAT on sales of ceramic poppies from the Tower of London, and used bank fines to fund the poppies’ tour of the UK as a mobile memorial of the war.

The government has recently waived the VAT on this year’s X Factor charity single, the Band Aid Ebola single, and previous VAT waivers on singles include 2011’s Military Wives Choir single, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake appeal single.

George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

I want as much money as possible that is made from this single to go towards supporting our brave armed forces – that is why I am giving back the tax paid on sales.

It’s only right that we use the centenary of the Christmas Truce of 1914 to commemorate our soldiers who fought for this country in the First World War, and to support our brave forces who are still fighting to defend Britain.

Danny Alexander Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:

The Christmas Truce was one of the most moving moments of the First World War, when soldiers laid down their weapons and found their common humanity. That’s why this government is commemorating it a century on.

The government is determined to use the funds raised from fines for the public good, which is why we’re using the proceeds to support two very important charities, the British Red Cross and the Shorncliffe Trust.

The funding for this VAT waiver comes from fines levied on banks for misconduct.

The Chancellor pledged that all the proceeds from these fines would be spent during this parliament on military and blue light good causes. So far, funding has been awarded to a range of projects from the Invictus Games to mental health support for ambulance, police and fire services.

The VAT equivalent donation for this single will be transferred to the Ministry of Defence to be donated directly to these charities, as an equivalent to waiving VAT.

Published 19 December 2014