Hillsborough disaster: George Osborne waives VAT on charity single

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FAMILIES of the Liverpool fans who died in the Hillsborough disaster will get extra money from sales of a charity single after Chancellor George Osborne confirmed last night that he would effectively waive VAT on it.

The version of the Hollies’ hit He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother by the Justice Collective is being sold to help cover their legal costs.

The song features artists such as Paul Heaton, Sir Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams, former X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson and former Spice Girl Mel C. The Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s string section is also involved.

Bookies make the record the odds-on favourite to take the coveted Christmas No 1 spot in the charts.

Mr Osborne said: “These families have been campaigning for justice for almost 24 years.

“It’s been a long journey so I’m pleased to be able to say the government will effectively waive the VAT on sales of the Hillsborough single, ensuring that as much money as possible goes towards helping these families.”

A sum equivalent to the VAT receipts collected by the Exchequer on sales of the song up to the end of March will be refunded in the form of a charitable donation from Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Department of Health and Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Treasury said.

He Ain’t Heavy was originally recorded by Kelly Gordon in 1969, and became a worldwide hit for the Hollies later that 
year, and again for Neil Diamond in 1970.