Devon

VAT cash bid for Military Wives Choir single by Devon MP

  • 19 December 2011
  • From the section Devon

Tax raised from the sales of a hit single should be donated to armed forces' charities, a Devon MP has said.

Wherever You Are was written for Gareth Malone's Military Wives Choir whose husbands served in Afghanistan.

The song is tipped to knock X Factor's Little Mix off the top of the charts and become the Christmas number one.

Oliver Colvile, Conservative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, is to ask the Treasury to donate the VAT to the choir's chosen charities.

The song was performed by the women from Chivenor and Plymouth at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in November.

Live aid 'precedent'

Proceeds from the sale of the single will go to the Royal British Legion and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen Families Association (SSAFA).

Mr Colville said allowing the charities to benefit from the VAT would not only help them continue to deliver good mental health services for military personnel, but would also be a fitting way to thank their families.

"I think its very, very important that we thank the families and wives who have put up with an enormous amount during the course of the past nine or 10 years," he told BBC News.

The Military Wives Choir, featured in the BBC Two television programme The Choir, is made up of about 100 wives and girlfriends from RMB Chivenor in north Devon and Plymouth.

Their husbands and partners spent six months earlier this year in Afghanistan as part of 3 Commando Brigade and the song is based on letters sent and received during the deployment.

Prime Minister David Cameron praised the choir after it performed at 10 Downing Street during a reception for troops involved in operations in Libya.

Mr Colville said, although he was not confident the government would agree, a precedent had been set in 2004 when VAT raised by sales from a new version of Do They Know It's Christmas was given to Bob Geldof's Live Aid charity.

Mr Colvile will make his request to the Secretary of State for Defence in the House of Commons later.

"If you don't bother to ask the question, nobody's going to take any notice," he added.

The Official Singles Chart will announce the Christmas number one on Christmas Day.

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