National Churches Trust warns as it welcomes 'Heritage Tax' VAT compensation plan

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The National Churches Trust has welcomed the Government’s decision to provide a £30 million package to help churches hit by the planned imposition of VAT but warned that the compensation package is cash limited and only guaranteed for the duration of this Parliament.

The National Churches Trust has welcomed the Government’s decision to provide a £30 million package to help churches hit by the planned imposition of VAT on alterations to historic buildings. It has however, warned that the compensation package is cash limited and only guaranteed for the duration of this Parliament.

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust said:

“Many listed churches apply to us for funding to extend the use of their buildings for the benefit of their congregations and to enable their use by the wider local community. Often this involves practical solutions such as the provision of toilets and kitchens. The planned imposition of VAT on such projects would have increased their cost by 20%. The Government’s £30 compensation package means that listed places of worship will now find it easier to carry on with projects which enable them to open up more fully to the community, a process which both serves local people and helps sustain the life of listed church buildings.”

“We will, however, need to see how effective the Government’s compensation package will be in practice as funding allocated is cash limited. We will also press that the compensation package remains in place for the long term as the scheme will be guaranteed only for the duration of this Parliament.”

Note to editors:

Claire Walker will be delivering the key note speech at the 2012 Historic Churches Leadership Group on Friday 18 May at the Lumen United Reformed Church, 88 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RS

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Eddie Tulasiewicz
National Church Trust
07742 932278
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