As Notre-Dame money rolls in, some eyebrows raised over rush of funds | Money | Malay Mail
Charitable donations benefit from a 60 per cent tax deduction in France, which prompted immediate suggestions by critics that Pinault, Arnault and the others were being less magnanimous than initially appeared.
“It’s the public that will end up bearing the cost,” said Gilles Carrez, a member of parliament for the centre-right Les Republicains party, who sits on the finance committee.
The Pinault family, which was at odds with Macron last year on issues of tax and the president’s policies towards the poor, said in a statement on Wednesday it was renouncing any tax advantage it might get from its donation.
LVMH ― which had benefited from large tax breaks to build the Louis Vuitton Foundation in western Paris ― dismissed the notion it was merely trying to boost its image.
“The only thing at issue here is to try and raise as much funding as possible to address this urgent issue, and that goes beyond any tax or accounting calculations,” the LVMH group spokesman said in response to questions from Reuters.
The Bettencourt-Meyer family has declined to comment on its donations.
“No doubt big brands want to genuinely demonstrate their empathy and show support to the re-building of an artefact that is not just a building but a cultural symbol,” said Keith Glanfield, a professor at Aston Business School.
“By some this may be seen as no more than a cynical attempt to sell more product.”
From the gut
On Twitter and Facebook, and in the auditorium of the European Parliament, the question was less about whether they and others should give, and more about why such generosity was going towards an old building hit by a disaster in which no one died.
“We are very attached to where Father Pierre’s funeral was held,” said the Abbe Pierre Foundation, a homelessness charity named after a priest whose 2007 funeral at Notre-Dame was attended by then-President Jacques Chirac.
“But we are equally committed to his cause. If you could contribute even one percent of the amount to the homeless, we would be moved,” it said on Twitter.