Gordon Brown denies Haiti single VAT claims

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Gordon Brown has denied claims that the Government is to recall hundreds of thousands of pounds from overseas aid money despite The Prime Minister’s promise to waive tax on the Haiti charity single ‘Everybody Hurts’.

The Treasury is alleged to have sent the Department for International Development (DfID) a bill for lost revenue, reports, The Independent.

Proceeds from the R.E.M cover which featured Robbie Williams, Take That Leona Lewis, Cheryl Cole and Kylie Minogue were split between the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and The Sun newspaper’s ‘Helping Haiti’ campaign.

At the time, the prime minister announced that he had decided VAT would be waived on the single.

But fears were reportedly raised that record-buyers may have unwittingly reduced money from the government’s aid budget for other countries and the DfID was believed to have been told by the Treasury that the equivalent of the “lost” VAT would be deducted from its budget.

But a Downing Street statement insisted: “The story is wrong. There will therefore be no impact at all on other areas of DfID’s work or budget.

“DfID will reimbuse the initial cost of the VAT for the single but has an agreement with HMT that they will provide additional end of year financing to cover that cost.

“There will therefore be no impact at all on other areas of DfID’s work or budget.”

‘Everybody Hurts’, recorded to help Haiti’s earthquake victims, sold more than 453,000 copies in its first week to go straight to Number One in February, reports BBC News.