Finance: Band Aid Trust gets £2m tax refund from Treasury

Graham Willgoss

The Treasury has donated more than £2m to the Band Aid Trust, a sum equivalent to VAT paid on Band Aid charity record and DVD sales.

It paid a total of £2.161m, a calculation based on sales of more than a million copies of the Christmas Band Aid 20 record Do They Know It's Christmas? and about 300,000 of the 1985 Live Aid concert DVD.

On the release of the record and DVD in November last year, Chancellor Gordon Brown announced that an amount equivalent to the VAT collected would be given to the trust by the Department for International Development.

Ivan Lewis, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: "We hoped that the record and DVD would be a success, and once again the British public has responded with huge generosity and goodwill to these fundraising efforts."

The move follows the precedent set in 1985, when the Government paid a sum comparable to VAT collected on sales of the original Band Aid record after months of campaigning led by Bob Geldof.

Band Aid trustee John Kennedy said: "We are delighted to receive this donation, which will be used to continue our work in helping to relieve hunger and poverty in the most deprived parts of Africa."

Since 1985, the Band Aid Trust and Live Aid Foundation have spent more than $144m (£79m) on the relief of famine by supporting projects in Burkina Faso, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger and Sudan.

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