Those wishing to help out our struggling Treasury, along with some charities, should rush out on October 5th and buy up lots of the single use carrier bags that large shops and supermarkets have to by then charge 5 pence for, rather than giving them away.
Despite the monies raised going to environmental causes HMRC have refused to waive the VAT and hope to rake in £19 million a year from the estimated 190 million bags we are expected to buy in the next year to donate. Dream on, we’d say.
It will be interesting to see if this one will work out, both for the charities and our Treasury. Lots of people who don’t like the idea of being forced to make charitable donations have been buying the “bags for life” shopping bags, and some have been reported hoarding free bags for money-saving use after October 5.
It is also interesting to note that strong, plain, plastic, vest-style bags are available from numerous UK suppliers for around 1 pence each in quantities of 2,000, or £20, including delivery, with half that price for much larger quantities. This saves the charitably inclined 4 pence per bag over the cost of the enforced supermarket purchase to donate to their choice of charity, 5 pence if gift-aided, and nothing into the clutches of the poor old Treasury.
Come to that we wonder if any enterprising charities out there will now start supplying carrier bags with their logos on, perhaps in packs of 50 for £1.99 and sold through charity shops, undercutting the government’s offerings, making a profit, doing shoppers a favour, promoting the charity and getting shoppers into charity shops where they might just buy something else?