Merryn's Blog

The rising cost of charitable tax relief

The more money given to charities in the form of tax relief, the less there is to spend on schools and hospitals.

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I've written here several times about the ludicrous situation in the charitable sector (now costing us all something in the region of £6.5bn see my article on this here).

But new numbers out this week make the case yet again. According to law firm Wilsons, the total cost of inheritance tax relief on charitable donations hit a record £630m last year. That's up 7% on the year before.

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You might look at that number and think how nice it is for people to leave their money to charities. I don't think that. I just think of how £630m given in tax relief to charities which are definitely unsupervised and very often inefficient, duplicating and of dubious public worth is £630m not spent on the UK's failing hospitals and education system. That seems wrong.

If people want to leave money to their private charitable hobby horses, they must, of course, do so. But they should do it post-tax, not pre-tax.

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