The Times gave five cases where HM Treasury say that charitable donations are abused. These all look pretty tenuous and could be handled under existing rules if the Charities Commission and HMRC do their jobs properly. To summarise the abuses and the charities' response:
|Treasury case||Charity response|
|1||Shares donated to charity found to be worth less than claimed||Relief is based on fair market value|
|2||Business gives money and claims relief. Money is then lent back.||Government has already cracked down on 'tainted donations'|
|3||Relief claimed for donation to a dubious charity that doesn't do much charitable work||This is for the Charities Commission to police|
|4||Tax relief claimed for donation to a dubious foreign charity||It's not allowed to claim relief on donations to charities outside the EU|
|5||Tax relief given on donation to UK charity which passes the cash to a dubious charity abroad||UK charity has to satisfy HMRC that the foreign charity would qualify|
In a final dagger thrust to the Government's credibility, it also vented rumours that Oliver Letwin is to be asked to sort out the political mess. For heaven's sake!