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The British government has found an unusual way to fund a tax break for the charities involved in a World War I memorial that has drawn millions of visitors to the Tower of London. It will be using fines paid by banks for rigging interest rates.
The Treasury has said it will waive the value added tax (VAT) on the sale of hundreds of thousands of bright red ceramic poppies that form a hugely popular installation marking the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War. The government will donate the amount it would have received in VAT -- 1.1 million pounds ($1.7 million) -- to six military charities. It said some of the money it has collected in fines imposed by British authorities on seven banks and brokers accused of rigging the benchmark Libor interest rate will be used for the donation. That comes on top of the proceeds from every poppy sold already set to be shared among the charities, which include Combat Stress and the Royal British Legion.
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