The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Tony Baldry and the Chair of the Church Buildings Council, Anne Sloman have all written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer expressing dismay at the serious impact the abolition of the VAT exemption on listed buildings will have on churches.
They also think the most effective campaigning results from writing to local MPs with local examples, and a letter has been drafted for parishioners to personalise and sign should they wish, which can be downloaded here
A vigorous campaign will continue, but in these situations local pressure counts for a great deal.
Please have your voice heard by supporting the e-petition to put pressure on the Government to change their mind about the proposed imposition of VAT on alterations to Listed Places of Worship. Impact depends on speed, so please do encourage people to sign up as soon as possible.
The Government consultation ends on 4th May, so please sign before then.
Government Transitional Arrangements
Transitional arrangements are in place to mitigate the impact of the proposed introduction of VAT at 20% for works presently zero-rated. Works with a signed contract in place by 21st March 2012 will be exempted from the 20% rate of tax for works done by 20th March 2013. Works after this date will pay VAT at the standard rate. Works contracted after 21st March 2012 will incur VAT at the standard rate for the parts of the contract performed after 1st October 2012.
Special arrangements apply to works without a written contract that were started before 21st March 2012. When 10% of the works (by cost) was performed before 21st March 2012 and three-fifths (by reference to cost) would qualify for zero-rate under the present arrangements, the work performed after 1st October 2012 and before 20th March 2013 can be zero-rated.
Please see the fuller wording in the consultation document for greater clarity, pages 26-27