UK shoppers could be asked to make donations to charity every time they pay for items with a bank card or use an ATM under new government proposals unveiled Wednesday.
Cabinet member Francis Maude was set to publish the government's proposals on Wednesday morning, which includes ideas for building a stronger culture of giving time and money to good causes.
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In addition to the direct appeal made to bank card users, people could also be prompted to give money when filling in tax returns or applying for passports, drivers licences and other state services, according to an advance copy of the paper.
Maude, who was inspired by the success of an ATM donation initiative in Colombia, said in the paper that "we want banks and ATM providers to let us know how we might make this happen in the UK and whether there are ways we can facilitate this."
The government rejected criticism that the new proposals were merely a way of leaning on private citizens to make up for the public sector's massive budget gap. Maude said the charity campaign was not designed to "compel" people to give but to support Prime Minister David Cameron's overall "big society" agenda.
Charities Aid Foundation CEO John Low applauded the move, saying it would encourage citizens "to somehow spontaneously come together to fix the problems in society rather than have the government pay for it all the time."
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