VAT’s just not fair, says vicar

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THE RECTOR of Buxton is urging residents to back an e-petition protesting about proposed VAT changes announced in the budget.

The Church of England has created the e-petition calling on the Chancellor to bring back zero rate VAT to alternations to the CofE’s 12,500 listed churches.

The Rev John Hudghton said: “This government is just taking money from local communities all over this country. They are taking money from people who are working hard to try and make a difference in line with the government wish for a big society and yet they are stabbing us in the back while they are doing this.

“May I urge everybody to put their signatures to this e-petition and lobby our MP in order to get this stealth tax removed.”

In a letter to the Chancellor, Anne Sloman, chair of the Church Buildings Council, said that a very large proportion of the alterations to listed churches “are concerned with making these buildings viable for use by the wide community.

“The imposition of 20 per cent VAT on this work means in practice most of it will simply stop. It seems that this VAT proposal was aimed at householders and that the implications for the Church were not fully understood.”

The Bishop of London has also written letters to the Chancellor to voice serious concerns about the proposed imposition of VAT on alterations to listed buildings.

The e-petition can be signed at: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/32229 .