asked Her Majesty's Government:
What was the total sum donated by companies to charities from their dividend payments in the last year for which figures are available, taking advantage of the 3 per cent. tax relief permitted; what was the approximate loss of revenue resulting; what sum could have been donated taking full advantage of the relief allowed; and whether they will increase the relief to 5 per cent.
§ The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Lord Young of Graffham)
In 1986–87, some £10 million was donated to charity by companies with benefit of the tax relief provided by Section 29 of the Finance Act 1986. The revenue cost was some £3.5 million. The total sum that could have been donated with benefit of the relief is in excess of £½ billion. The Government have no plans at present to increase the annual limit (of 3 per cent. of dividends on the donor company's ordinary shares) which applies to this relief.