The Independent splash this morning reveals a classic example of how a Gordon Brown promise is not all that it seems.
After the Haiti earthquake, when a bunch of celebrities recorded a version of Everybody Hurts to raise money for victims, Gordon Brown announced to much fanfare – and with much name-checking of Simon Cowell – that VAT would be waived on the single.
However, as the paper reports:
"To the fury of aid officials at the Department for International Development, the Treasury has warned them that they will effectively be sent a bill for the Exchequer's lost revenue, The Independent has learnt – the equivalent of the "lost" VAT will be deducted from its budget.
"The cash raid raises fears that each person who bought the single unwittingly deducted money from the Government's aid budget for other countries. Last night aid groups were astounded by the news and accused the Government of penny-pinching, warning that some of the world's poorest people could suffer as a result."
Full story here.