Sunday, 8 April 2012

EU VAT rules could cause churches to fall into disrepair

The Diocese of Hereford is warning that many historical church buildings could fall into disrepair because of a change in VAT rules that will force it to pay VAT on building repairs.

What the Diocese of Hereford fails to mention - probably through ignorance - is that this VAT change is down to EU rules.  The EU won't allow the British government to reduce or abolish VAT and the British government's lobbying for the EU to abolish VAT on repairs to church buildings has been unsuccessful.  To help the Church, the British government has been spending taxpayers' money on grants to cover the cost of the VAT on building repairs.

The Church's VAT bill for building repairs is £38m and 0.3% of that is paid over to the EU for what they laughably call their "own resources" budget.  So that's a £114k hidden contribution to the EU because the British government refuses to defy the EU over charging VAT on repairs to Church buildings even though it is the British government's policy that the Church shouldn't have to pay VAT on repairing its buildings and now the Church is saying that it won't be able to afford to repair its buildings because they're going to have to pay the EU's VAT.
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