Why are we still pretending that private schools are charities? [Image: Alamy]

This is what happens when ordinary people vote for a Conservative Government.

The tax money that would otherwise be used to provide the services ordinary people need – an up-to-date, efficient National Health Service, cheap accommodation, social care – is instead given away to the already-rich.

A fine example is the series of tax breaks provided to privately-owned schools – profit-driven companies that pretend to be charities.

They should have lost any tax privileges under a Labour government, but have been allowed to get away with the lie until now.

How long will the privileged be allowed to line their pockets while the poor are told there is no money available?

In Britain today there are hundreds of private clubs. They are often blessed with manicured lawns, sumptuous historic buildings and state-of-the-art sports and entertainment facilities for the enjoyment of members. Many offer expensive activities such as golf, shooting and horse-riding.

And who benefits from these impressively well-appointed institutions? “The very wealthiest families in the world,” concedes a manager of one.

And yet these private clubs are designated as charities and benefit from significant tax breaks. They pay little VAT on some of the services they buy, and no corporation tax on their financial surpluses. They can also slash their business property rates bill by up to 80 per cent.

If these institutions paid tax in the manner of other private firms the Treasury’s coffers would be swelled by an estimated £100m a year. Add in the business rates exemption and the annual tax break is closer in value to £250m.

And yet the crusaders against charity excess from the fourth estate have been strangely silent on this scandal. Perhaps it’s because these institutions in question are known as “independent schools”.

And unlike the right-wing media’s usual targets, these charities do not provide help to the poor and afflicted but instead service the offspring of the world’s global elite.

Source: Private schools catering to the global elite are spending lavishly because of their huge UK tax breaks – it has to stop

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