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My hon. Friend will know that the inheritance tax exemption for donations to political parties does not exist for donations to referendum campaigns. However, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor and I have discussed the issues that my hon. Friend has raised in previous weeks, and we are sympathetic to looking carefully at how the law may be changed for future referendum campaigns.
In the past nine years, there have been 23 retroactive tax changes where there has been unfairness, error or unduly onerous taxation. When the law was drafted in 1994, there was no idea that there would be a succession of referendums. It is deeply unfair that people who have contributed to the alternative vote referendum, the referendum in Scotland and the Brexit referendum may find very large tax bills winging their way towards them, not least as Her Majesty’s Government spent £8 million of taxpayers’ money willy-nilly in the Brexit referendum.
Pursuant to that question, may I add one further caveat, given that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs is beginning to look at all the other referendums that have taken place? Will it take into consideration those organisations that are not charities or political parties, but which do public good? They are beginning to be concerned that HMRC will pursue individuals who have made donations to them. Will my right hon. Friend take looking at that under his wing as well?
My right hon. Friend raises an interesting point. He might like to make specific representations to me on the matters he has raised. Indeed, if he wishes to meet me to discuss them, I would be very happy to do so.