ITV pulls the plug on GAYE matched contributions

Broadcaster blames 'financial constraints' for decision

ITV has stopped matching staff donations through its Give As You Earn scheme because of financial constraints, according to the broadcaster's corporate responsibility report, published on Thursday.

The payroll scheme, run in conjunction with the Charities Aid Foundation, generated about £130,000 last year.

But the report says: "Due to severe economic challenges, ITV ceased matching employee GAYE contributions in April 2009."

ITV's revenue declined by 14 per cent in the first three months of this year.

The report also says ITV gave £2m to charity in 2008, and a further £7.8m when it repaid money it earned from phone-ins to entertainment programmes such as Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway after they were found to have been rigged.

After an inquiry by auditors Deloitte, the broadcaster paid £7.8m into a charitable account held with CAF. ITV and CAF then selected about 60 charities to benefit from the account.

The report also says the broadcaster gave £5.24m in in-kind donations to charity and a further £2.01m in cash in 2008.

ITV worked with the domestic violence charity Refuge on a storyline for Emmerdale and with the charity Dry Out Now for a story on alcoholism in Coronation Street, the report says.

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