Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, declared on Wednesday that UK health charities will benefit from the government’s donation of the equivalent to the UK VAT payable on domestic sales of A Bridge Over You, the NHS Choir’s Christmas 2015 single.
A Bridge Over You was performed by the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir, which is made up entirely of NHS staff including nurses, doctors, physios, midwives, porters and administrators. The recording reached number one in the music charts during December 2015 and it has been downloaded more than 150,000 times so far.
The government will make the donation in recognition of the support that health charities provide to mental health and wellbeing across the UK. All proceeds from sales of A Bridge Over You are being donated to Carers UK, Mind, the Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health (NIAMH), the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and regional charities.
“I was delighted to see the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS choir reach Christmas No.1 and it is great news that health charities like Mind and Carers UK are to benefit from the proceeds of the single.
“The choir showcased the very best of the NHS and the charities it is supporting ensure that those experiencing a mental health problem and their carers get the valuable support they need. I hope this donation helps them continue their vital work.”
VAT has previously been waived by the UK government on charity singles recorded by organisations and charities such as the X Factor TV show, Save the Children, Band Aid Ebola, the 2011 Military Wives Choir and the 2010 Haiti earthquake appeal.