Quotes from donors
Sir Vernon Ellis, Philanthropist, former international chairman of the consultancy firm Accenture and chairman of the English National Opera and the British Council
“For my own giving, I will not be able to make as much contributions. It will be much tougher and I will have to think very carefully about each donation. Under the new proposals, I certainly would not have been to give the several million pounds towards the restoration of the London Coliseum. Good causes will suffer and some important projects in our cultural institutions will not take place, which will be a shame for the country.”
Read more on the Telegraph website
Matthew Bowcock, Philanthropist
“What the Treasury don’t seem to realise is that tax allowances for charitable giving are quite different to other allowances, because they don’t benefit the taxpayer.”
“No-one ever got richer by giving away their money and, to claim tax relief, a donor has to give away more than twice what they would pay in tax.”
“All bona fide donors and charities would support tighter proportionate regulation, because fraudulent schemes damage the reputation of the whole sector, but please don’t treat philanthropists who give large sums of money to causes they care about as suspect.”
“Britain needs these people to share their wealth more so than ever and the contrast between the “culture of responsibility” that the Government has been promoting and this measure is stark”.
Read more on the BBC website
Philanthropists’ letter to the Telegraph: Proposed cap to charity tax relief will damage philanthropy
On 15 April the Telegraph published a joint letter by a group of 47 philanthropists. Here’s a quote from the letter:
“We choose to invest in charities for a variety of reasons: we may have been touched by an issue being tackled; we may be inspired to support the development, access to and preservation of the arts; or we may wish to give back to a community.
None of us view tax relief as a primary motive, although it may substantially increase our donations. But it is an important signal that the decision to use wealth to help others, rather than to enrich ourselves, is recognised, encouraged and supported by society.
All tax reliefs are granted on the basis that the money is spent on charitable purposes, and this is regulated by the Charity Commission.”
Read the full letter on the Telegraph website.
Dame Stephanie Shirley
“It is claimed, without producing a scrap of evidence, that these measures are essential to prevent tax evasion and fraud. We doubt that. Instead, these plans, if enacted, would limit giving, damage hard-pressed charities and undermine this government’s hopes of creating a ‘big society’.“
Read Dame Stephanie Shirley’s open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron
Stelios Stefanou, philanthropist
“No tax dodger in their right mind would give £100 or £100,000 in order to receive a small percentage of it back in tax relief, so it can’t be a real tax dodge.”
“Any philanthropist or any donor gives money with an open heart hopefully, but at the same time looks for recognition in the tax system so that they don’t feel as though they are doing this alone.”
Read more on the Channel 4 website
Marcelle Speller, Philanthropist a dotcom millionaire and founder of the charity website Localgiving.com
“I’m still very passionate about what I do with Local Giving. I’ve put four years of my life and £2m into it so far, and I won’t stop doing it. But it’s rather galling to feel that the last four years and that money has now been seen as a tax dodge. It doesn’t give me a very good feeling,” she told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme.
“I will be able to give less, absolutely. We are not all bottomless pits. You have an amount that you decide to give of your budget for philanthropy, and significantly less will go to the charities.”
Read more on the Telegraph website
Retired businessman Michael Cowen, a regular donor to Brighton and Sussex Universities:
“This Government keeps on referring to the Big Society as something it really believes in. They are reducing the funding, at national and local government levels, by 30 or 40 per cent which means a lot of charities are closing down. Now separately they are proposing to reduce the amount of money charities can receive from donors.” (Independent)
Richard Ross, philanthropist
“Of course it is going to affect the amount I give”.
“They are saying we are not going to give you the advantages that we have given you in the past but we want you to carry on being more generous and philanthropic”.
“Why should they tar 99% good people with the 1% who are bad? It is a slur because being philanthropic is not something that most people do”
“You want to encourage people to be more philanthropic, not limit them. [This decision] can only harm the country. They are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. They are penalising everybody.”
Read more on the Independent website