Bubb says Gift Aid must be changed

The Gift Aid system should become an opt-out rather than an opt-in scheme, according to Acevo chief executive Stephen Bubb, reacting to figures that revealed that up to 40 per cent of tsunami donors had failed to give tax-efficiently.

Donors currently tick a box if they want charities to keep the tax on their pledges. Bubb has urged Treasury Minister Stephen Timms to change the system so it is assumed all donors want to give this way unless they tick a box indicating otherwise. He also called for Gift Aid to be more widely publicised among charities.

"It is a worry that such a small proportion of people are ticking the box," he said at last week's launch of the Pakistani Development Network.

Bubb has also urged Chancellor Gordon Brown to establish a task force to improve coordination of disaster response from the public, private and voluntary sectors. It would also look at ways of capitalising on the huge outpouring of generosity triggered by the disaster.

"Far from being a distraction from other good causes, this could kickstart greater giving to charities," he said.

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