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JustGiving slammed for taking £25k fees from Grenfell fund

Fundraising website JustGiving came under fire last night for taking more than £25,000 in fees from money donated to help those affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster.

In the hours after the fire, which claimed 71 lives, the public rushed to donate money to the survivors and victims.

More than £400,000 was raised by local Karolina Hanusova, who created a page on the website JustGiving.

But JustGiving, which lets people raise money at the click of a button, pockets five per cent fees on what is raised through its pages.

More than £400,000 was raised for those affected by local Karolina Hanusova, who created a page on the website JustGiving (pictured)

More than £400,000 was raised for those affected by local Karolina Hanusova, who created a page on the website JustGiving (pictured)

Raising the issue in a Westminster Hall debate, Conservative MP Mary Robinson said some £25,000 of the total had gone into the website's coffers, rather than to the intended causes.

Last night the site came under pressure to waive the fee so those affected by the fire could benefit from all of the generous public donations.

Meg Hillier, the chair of the parliamentary public accounts committee, said: 'This is a very high percentage fee and the cost of doing this is much less than £25,000.

'It would be a sensible, reasonable, humane and a morale gesture of good will if JustGiving took a lesser fee or waived it in the circumstances.'

The fee is taken from the gift aid received, if the person is eligible, or is deducted from the total if no gift aid can be claimed. Gift aid is the income tax charities can reclaim on your donation.

On top of its five per cent cut, charities, depending on their size, are required to pay a monthly subscription fee of up to £39, plus VAT.

Mrs Robinson raised the point that unlike JustGiving, Virgin Money Giving is a non-profit company.

Charities registering with it are required to pay a one-off set-up fee of £150 and then it takes a two per cent fee on donations, but all the gift aid is received by the charity.

Online fundraiser, the Wonderful Organisation, located in Manchester, is the only site in the UK not to charge any fees, she said.

Pictured is west London local Karolina Hanusova, who helped crowdfund £400,000 for those affected by the disaster. JustGiving has come under fire for pocketing £25,000 of it in fees

Pictured is west London local Karolina

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