By Marcus Leach

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has announced that the Government will waive VAT on sales of the X-Factor Christmas single by making an exceptional one-off charitable donation to Together for Short Lives, the charity chosen to benefit from sales of the song.

The donation will be equivalent to the sum of the VAT receipts collected on sales and will be funded by the Department of Health, which makes a number of charitable grants each year.

Recognising the exceptional contribution Together for Short Lives makes through its work with children with life-limiting illnesses and the wide ranging support it provides to their families, George Osborne and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley want to maximise the donation the charity receives by adding the VAT equivalent.

"I know that Together for Short Lives does great work supporting life-limited children and their families. To help these children, I will give back to the charity the money the tax man collects on the X Factor charity single so that more of the money the generous British public spend on the single will go directly to the charity," George Osborne said.

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