Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Brown announces VAT boost for Band Aid [November 2004]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 7 November 2004.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown today announced that the Treasury will refund the VAT paid on purchases of the new Live Aid DVD and Band Aid 20 record.

In Spring 1985, following months of campaigning led by Sir Bob Geldof, the then government agreed to make a donation to charities working in Ethiopia and Chad of an amount equivalent to VAT collected on sales of the original 1984 Band Aid record ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’.

The Chancellor has decided to make a similar donation in relation to sales of the new DVD of the 1985 Live Aid concert, released today, and of the new version of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ to be released in December.

The donation is forecast to be approximately  £5 million, with sales of more than 500,000 copies of the DVD and 1 million copies of the record expected this Christmas.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown will meet Sir Bob Geldof at No.11 Downing Street today ahead of a special screening of the Live Aid DVD in London this evening.

Gordon Brown said today:

“Ever since its launch twenty years ago, Band Aid has had a huge impact, raising the plight of the world’s poorest and raising funds to help them. More than that, Band Aid has won millions to the cause of fighting global poverty. I want to do everything I can to support their work and so people can buy the DVD and record this Christmas knowing that all the money they spend will go to support the vital work of the Band Aid Trust in the poorest countries of Africa.”

Bob Geldof said:

“In a remarkable gesture and one that is wholly in the spirit of Band Aid, Gordon Brown, has announced that the Government, through the Treasury, have refused to take a single penny from sales of the Band Aid 20 record and the Live Aid DVD. They will do this by collecting and returning VAT receipts received through sales. It will be a hugely significant sum of money that will help alleviate the misery of the hungry in Africa. Those of us old enough to remember the original song, twenty years ago, will have noted the contrast between the Government’s response then and now. It is further proof that the Band Aid 20 record has already become the starting pistol for the vital political year of 2005.”