Furore over charity donations by Carnoustie golf links

Carnoustie golf course
Carnoustie golf course

Controversy continues to cloud Carnoustie golf links as councillors and links management argue over the level of donations the links charitable trust is making.

Following on from last week’s presentation of nearly £20,000 to local causes by Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee (CGLMC) in its role as a charitable trust, Independent councillor Brian Boyd has challenged the amount, stating that there should be a funding pot of around £235,000.

He said: “The chair of the trust states she takes her responsibilities ‘extremely seriously’ so the town needs clarification. The trust was established in 2014 not 2015 as she has stated and has been running for over 18 months

“Before this the links made steady income and profits - this has not changed. Looking at publicly available accounts for the three years before becoming a charity, the turnover was more than £10 million surpluses before tax of over £1.1 million and, most importantly, tax paid was £470,000.

“This means tax savings for 18 months were £235,000 yet a mere £37,000 has been distributed. Quite frankly this is disgraceful. Our charity shops in the High Street donate more than this. Surely the trust should handout, at the very least, the tax savings from the charity or serious questions should be raised as to whether this is a tax avoidance scam.”

The CGLMC has responded to the claims stating that Councillor Boyd’s figures are “wildly inaccurate”.

Graeme Duncan, CGLMC general manager, said: “Councillor Boyd also seems to be concerned suddenly with our work as a charity and the community donations we have made. His estimate on the tax we have saved is wildly inaccurate, and takes no account of the lower tax rates that now apply. We are actually on track to donate over 50 per cent of the tax savings in community grants. Our accounts are public documents and the level of charitable contributions we make can easily be checked.”