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Clause 49 - Gifts to the nation

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 14th June 2012.

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Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 3:15 pm, 14th June 2012

I do not anticipate there being a problem in that area, but I will be happy to confirm to him within the rules of the scheme what could give satisfaction in that sense. Obviously, we would expect anybody working under the auspices of a British Government Department to follow the highest principles of public service.

Consultation has been undertaken in relation to the scheme. That ran from 29 June to 21 September 2011. There were 54 responses from a number of groups, ranging from museums and galleries to legal and accountancy firms. Responses were also received from the devolved Administrations. Respondents welcomed  the new scheme and recognised the need to keep it simple and also that funding was difficult in the current economic climate.

There were a couple of concerns, naturally, focused on a few key issues. The first was ownership of the objects. Some respondents thought that potential donors could be put off and might not use the scheme if the nation retained ownership of the objects donated. It was also felt that it could prove difficult for the institutions receiving the objects to build up relationships with donors to encourage them to use the scheme or to make other types of charitable donations.