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‘Gift aid’ relief to eco-education centres under threat
Visitors to one of the UK’s best-loved charity attractions are in the dark about how they can make donations, according to a Bank Holiday survey by The Living Rainforest.
Confusion over the future of the Government’s Gift Aid scheme, which would result in charities losing the ability to collect 28p from every £1 of entrance fees, means many potential donors don’t know how best to help their favourite charities. 90 percent of visitors questioned over the May Bank Holiday weekend admitted they weren’t aware of the proposed change.
The research also found that 82 percent of visitors believe the Government should be doing more to support environmental education projects such as The Living Rainforest.
Gift Aid currently provides a simple way for members of the public to make charitable donations, but the scheme is under threat from proposed changes in legislation – threatening the future of some attractions.
Gordon Brown recently described the Gift Aid as a ‘tax loophole’ and wants to change the scheme – within a few years of introducing it.
“By introducing and then changing the Gift Aid scheme, the Chancellor is threatening the future of public environmental education projects such as ours,” said Karl Hansen, director of The Living Rainforest. “The uncertainty is throwing the future of environmental discovery in the UK into jeopardy, at a time when the government should be doing everything it can to support environmental education across the country.”
In response to visitor demand, The Living Rainforest has launched an online petition against the Chancellor’s proposed reform of Gift Aid which it proposes to present to Downing Street.
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