Treasury to give £45m from banking fines to 30 charities

Today's Budget confirmed a further £12m from the 'tampon tax' for charities working with women

HM Treasury
HM Treasury

The Treasury has released a list of 30 charities that will receive grants totalling £45m from fines imposed on banks announced in Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget today.

The money, which according to Treasury documents released alongside the Budget will be awarded over the next four years, comes directly from the fines paid by banks found to have been involved in illegally fixing the inter-bank lending rate or Libor in 2012.

The grants range from £5m to £82,000 and have been awarded largely to charities with objects focused on military and ex-military personnel. Several hospital charities also benefit, including University Hospital Southampton Charity, Central Manchester University Hospitals Charity, Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity and Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

The largest awards, both of £5m, will go to the National Mesothelioma Centre to combat a form of cancer associated with asbestos, which is directly affecting service veterans, and to the Helensburgh Leisure Facility HM Naval Base Clyde for military personnel and the local community.

A grant of £4.5m was also awarded to establish an air ambulance service in Northern Ireland.

Revenue from Libor fines has been handed out to charities by government since 2013.

Osborne also named 21 charities focused on women’s issues which will get a share of the £12m revenue from the tampon tax.

Tampons are taxed as luxury goods, and in the Autumn Statement, Osborne announced that although under current EU rules he could not change the tax, he would donate the money raised to women’s charities.

The charities receiving grants include Breast Cancer Care, which will get £1m, Girlguiding, also awarded £1m, and the White Ribbon Campaign, which was given £265,000 to deliver the biggest campaign in Europe aimed at encouraging men and boys to challenge violence against women and girls.

Also on the list were Comic Relief and the Rosa Fund for Women, which will get £4m and £2.2m respectively to disburse as grants to grassroots women’s organisations.

The Charity Tax Group said it is was notable that there was no reference to a previous announcement by the government that it was seeking to change EU rules to allow for a zero rate on sanitary products.

Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of the charity leader’s group Acevo, expressed concern that the agreements associated with the grants would be likely to contain the new anti-lobbying clause, which prevents charities from using cash from government grants to fund campaigning activities.

"The government must rethink this harmful measure as a matter of urgency," he said.

Neil Cleeveley, chief executive of local infrastructure body Navca, welcomed the distribution of Libor fines but called for more clarity about how the recipient charities were chosen. "The bad behaviour of bankers seems to be the gift that keeps on giving," he said.

"As this funding is no longer the one-off funding that was expected, we would like to see a more transparent process that could help increase public confidence in charities."

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