The Chancellor will waive VAT on sales of the Band Aid anniversary single, Do They Know It’s Christmas, while iTunes will give all revenue to Band Aid to support the ebola campaign.
This is the fourth incarnation of the Band Aid single, first recorded in 1984. This time Bob Geldof has brought together a new raft of stars to record the song. All proceeds will go to fighting ebola.
This version features a host of today’s top stars, including One Direction, Rita Ora, Sam Smith, Emile Sande, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Ellie Goulding, as well as U2’sBono.
George Osborne said: ‘I spoke to Bob Geldof and I confirmed that we would waive VAT on the Band Aid anniversary single.
‘It’s fantastic that he’s got so many musicians together again to help fight Ebola – and I wanted to make sure every penny raised goes to combat this terrible disease.”
‘Whether it’s the British public or their government, we are united in helping lead the world efforts against Ebola.’
Organiser Bob Geldof told BBC4’s Today programme that sales had been “manic” since the single was released. He also said that a 1m copies had been sold but pointed out that the original single cost £3.50 back in 1984, while the download is 99p, so more copies need to be sold to beat the £8m raised for the first single in the 80s.
The UK has committed £230m to contain and control the disease by diagnosing and isolating Ebola cases more quickly, trebling the number of treatment beds, supporting burial teams, researching a vaccine and providing vital supplies such as chlorine and protective clothing for thousands of health workers.