Military Wives celebrate VAT waiver on hit charity single

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The Military Wives choir were celebrating yesterday after the Government agreed to waive VAT on sales of their soon-to-be chart-topping single.

The Treasury is to give the money to charity in lieu of the tax taken from sales of Wherever You Are, which is on course to be the Christmas number one.

Choir member Sarah Wall said it was a “brilliant” gesture.

Chancellor George Osborne confirmed the tax would be waived after a request from Conservative MP Oliver Colvile.

The single – which will raise money for forces’ charities – chalked up the biggest two-day sale for six years, according to figures released on Tuesday.

It is outselling nearest rival Cannonball by X Factor winners by a margin of six to one. The Military Wives were formed by Gareth Malone for BBC2 programme The Choir, which climaxed with the group performing at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Their single sold 242,000 copies in just two days an could hit half-million by the end of the week.

Mr Osborne said: “Our armed forces demonstrate incredible commitment to the nation and make sacrifices for all of us.

“The Military Wives choir is doing a great job of raising money for this hugely worthy cause.

“We will donate the tax collected on the single so that as much as possible of the money spent by the public on this fantastic song goes to charities helping our armed forces and their families this Christmas.” Last month the Government agreed to a similar gesture for The X Factor’s charity single Wishing on a Star.

Proceeds from the single are being donated to the Royal British Legion and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association.

Mrs Wall, 32, whose husband, Corporal Mark Wall, is a military policeman, said: “I’m glad they are behind us and they want to help us raise money and everything. It is brilliant that they are doing that.”

Mrs Wall was speaking as she and fellow choir members went to their workplace at Tyspane Care Centre in Braunton, north Devon.

They will discover if their single is crowned the Christmas number one on BBC1’s Top Of The Pops on Christmas Day.