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Autumn Statement: Government commits a further £102m of banking fines to charities

23 Nov 2016 News

Wentworth Woodhouse

Credit: Save Wentworth Woodhouse

Armed forces and emergency services charities will receive a further £102m in banking fines over the next four years, the Chancellor announced in today’s Autumn Statement.

In his first Autumn Statement as Chancellor, Philip Hammond announced £102m to go to armed forces and emergency services charities, as well as other related good causes; £7.6m to go to the restoration of a 300-bedroom stately home; and £3m from the controversial, and due to be scrapped, tampon tax to go to Comic Relief to distribute to women’s causes. 

The organisation receiving the largest sum from banking fines is the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC), which will receive £20m to contribute towards the capital building costs of its new centre, Stanford Hall. Run by the DNRC Charity, which was previously called the Black Stork Charity, the centre is due to open in 2018.

The Army Museums Ogilby Trust, which supports over 138 individual Regimental and Corps Military Museums, will receive £5m from the banking fines, which largely come from fines paid by banks following the Libor fixing scandal.

Combat Stress, which works with veterans suffering from PTSD, will receive over £2m, while the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund will also receive £2m to contribute towards building a respite facility for RAF veterans in the Midlands.

Air ambulance charities again received a significant portion of the amount, with Wales Air Ambulance Charity, Devon Air Ambulance Trust and Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust each received £1m. 

‘Government ignored own guidance on good grant making’

Asheem Singh, interim chief executive of Acevo, said that the allocation of Libor fines show that “the government has ignored its own post-Kid Company guidelines on good grant making”.

The full list of organisations receiving a share of the £102m can be found here.

The Chancellor also announced that £3m from the tampon tax would go to Comic Relief to “distribute to a range of women’s charities”.

This £3m forms part of a £15m sum collected by the government each year in VAT on women’s sanitary products. The first £12m had already been allocated by in March’s Budget by the then Chancellor George Osborne. The tampon tax is a tax on women’s sanitary products. The Treasury had announced that it is due to be scrapped by 2018 at the latest, despite it going against EU to do so. 

The documents accompanying the Autumn Statement state that, in addition to the £3m, the government will be inviting applications from charities from 1 December 2015 for the next round of tampon tax to “support women’s charities, including those running programmes that tackle violence against women and girls”.

Urgent repairs of listed property

Hammond announced £7.6m to go towards the urgent repairs of Wentworth Woodhouse near Rotherham, a Grade I listed country house. Hammond said that the house, which is said to be the inspiration for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, “is now at critical risk of being lost to future generations”.

A charity, the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, has been established to secure a long term future for Wentworth Woodhouse. Its trustees include the Duke of Devonshire. Its restoration is subject to approval of a sustainable business case.

 

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