What I wrote at Lib Dem Voice

January 08, 2007

The Blair legacy project - will he walk the talk?

At last, a Blair legacy policy in the truest sense… Yesterday’s Times reports that the Prime Minister is planning to offer tax relief to those who wish to leave their homes to their former universities to help create Ivy League-style endowment funds.

It’s a sound idea (and one, incidentally, which should long ago have been championed by the Lib Dems if the party is ever to have a higher education policy which adds up) - and should, of course, be extended to all charitable institutions.

But it begs one big question. The Blairs’ residence in London’s Connaught Square - inside the ‘bonus belt’ - is reputed now to be worth some £4.5m. What better way could there be for the Prime Minister to lead by example than to offer to bequeath his home to his (and my) alma mater?

PS: the boringly obligatory declaration of interest. I’m a professional fundraiser working for St Anne’s, one of Oxford’s 39 colleges.

1 comment:

Kate Marshall said...

I entirely agree that any such incentive scheme should also apply to charitable bodies, including any govermental matched giving.

Personally I would far prefer Mr Blair left his swanky pad to charity over his alma mater, setting an example of a little known method of charitable giving (only 4% of UK wills going to probate contain a gift to charity).