Eton College enjoys an 80 per cent tax cut because it is a charity while state schools shoulder ‘the worst cuts in a generation.’ The prestigious all-boys school, which charges parents £40,000 a year, is expected to save £1.4 million over the next few years thanks to the perk.
Critics are calling for school ‘tax loopholes’ to be closed, at a time when skint state schools are asking parents to buy pens, pencils and toilet paper.
According to rates experts Altus Group, Eton College’s bill will be slashed from £831,600 to £166,320 this year and from £851,400 to £170,280 next year.
The saving of nearly £1.4m will add to the £1.8 million saved over the last three years, reports the Mirror.
The school is known for educating much of Britain’s social elite, with famous Old Etonians including Prince William and Prince Harry, Boris Johnson, David Cameron and Jacob Rees-Mogg. Other well known alumni include Hugh Laurie, Damian Lewis, George Orwell and Bear Grylls.
The school and sixth form for boys aged 13 to 18 received £8.5 million in donations on top of £51 million in school fees, according to the Charity Commission.
It also has £437 million of ‘funds carried forward’ and raked in £12.3 million in investment income last year. Royal baby name odds suggest Meghan and Harry will name the baby after Princess Diana
Altus says just over half of private schools have charitable status and will save £223 million over the next two years thanks to the tax break.
Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said: ‘These figures are the latest sign that the Tories are running our education system for the few, not the many.
‘Even as state schools suffer the worst cuts in a generation, an elite few still benefit from tax giveaways with the government’s blessing
The Labour MP said her party vows to end the VAT exemption for private schools to help fund free school meals ‘for every primary school child.’
Unions have described state schools as being at ‘breaking point’, with the number of secondary schools running at a loss shooting from 8.1 per cent in 2014 to 30.3 per cent last year.
On average debt saddled by local authority run secondary schools is £483,569, according to the Education Policy Institute.
Even a primary school in Theresa May’s wealthy constituency of Maidenhead begged parents for basic supplies like like toilet roll and Blu-Tack. Eton College has defended itself as a charity and said it was committed to ‘aiding social mobility’.
The school added: ‘We spend over £7 million per annum on financial aid and currently 83 of our pupils pay no fees at all. ‘Our pupils are extensively involved in community engagement and social action.’
Labour ‘must commit to People’s Vote’ before EU elections The Department for Education pointed out that state funded schools get additional government funding to cover their business rates in full, with just over £400 million provided in England last year.
Academies, voluntary aided and foundation schools can also benefit from the 80 per cent relief and special schools are exempt from rates. Robert Hayton, head of UK business rates at Altus called for a ‘level playing field’ for school rates.
He added: ‘It cannot be right that council-run schools pay normal business rates, but both private schools and academies, using charitable status, receive an 80 per cent discount.’
With many thanks to the: Metro.co.uk for the original story