Wednesday 17th March 2004
Wednesday 17 March 2004
Statement from the Zoological Society of London in response to the Gift Aid ruling announced by Gordon Brown in today's budget
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) gives a cautious welcome to the Chancellor's announcement to extend the consultation period for Gift Aid legislation until the July Spending Review. At the same time ZSL renews its commitment to work with other leading conservation organisation to convince the Government of the importance of this revenue to worldwide conservation efforts.
Millions of pounds worth of conservation work would have to be axed if the proposed changes to the Finance Bill, in regards to daily admissions revenue, had gone ahead. Pioneering world tiger and cheetah conservation projects would be at risk.
As pressure on global biodiversity mounts, the work of ZSL has never been more urgent or significant.
Gift Aid has brought us a very welcome revenue boost; it has also made our day visitors better understand that we are a charity engaged in vital conservation efforts. Visitors are delighted to be able to contribute a little more to our work and are often pleasantly surprised that it is an enlightened government initiative that allows them to do so.
The proposed changes to the Gift Aid scheme will not only starve us of income but will have additional cost implications. We have invested in staff, presentation, and systems at our sites to handle the collection of data and to ensure its correct and detailed presentation to the Revenue. Ironically, the Revenue itself has helped us with these procedures.
Today's decision to extend the consultation period demonstrates that the Government is beginning to take on board the very real impact these changes could have on the work that we do and we welcome that as a first step forward. Now we urge the government to keep the door open to Gift Aid for our day visitors and for all of those other attractions up and down the land who share our values and commitment to world conservation efforts.
For more information please contact:
ZSL's PR Office
Debbie Curtis 020 7449 6363 firstname.lastname@example.org
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