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‘How Much Money Goes on Aid?’ Not As Much As You May Think

New Tax Tool from The ONE Campaign Shows How Just a Small Piece of the Tax Pie Does Massive Amount of Good

Anti-poverty group The ONE Campaign has welcomed the move by HM Revenue and Customs to send UK taxpayers a detailed breakdown of how their taxes were spent in 2013/14.  This includes information about how much – or how little – tax went towards overseas aid.

From today, 24 million PAYE taxpayers will receive a statement showing what proportion of their income tax went towards different areas of public spending. The statements will highlight how and where money was spent, helping to dispel myths around the amount that the government invests in overseas aid.

To mark the event, ONE has released a new tax tool for 2014/15 so that the British public can see what the percentage of their taxes will be spent as aid this year, and what that money will buy.

For example, someone earning an annual salary of £30,000 this year will pay £6,645 in personal income tax, of which just £60 will go towards overseas aid.  This is around the price of a pair of boots on the high street or a meal out for two people.  Invested in aid, the money would provide 84 childhood vaccines or 10 anti-malarial bed nets.

Speaking as the tax statements landed on doormats, Diane Sheard, UK Director of ONE said: “It’s right that people should know how their taxes are being spent so that we can follow the money.  This transparent breakdown of what goes where will put the information in every taxpayer’s hands, showing that their relatively small contribution towards UK aid does a huge amount of good and really does save lives.”

ONE is inviting the public to input their salary into the tax tool and see how far their money goes towards life-saving aid.

Continuing, Diane Sheard said: “In general, people tend to over-estimate how much of our taxes go towards aid, with the average guess at around 15%.  In fact, it’s just 0.7% of UK national income.  I hope every person tries out this tool and sees exactly how much good they do for the world’s poorest people simply by paying their tax. It’s a part of our everyday life but can literally transform the future for millions.”


Notes to Editors

Please note: The detailed breakdown of tax information sent by HMRC relates to the 2013/14 tax year. The ONE Campaign tax tool is using tax information for the 2014/15 tax year.