VAT help "doesn't go far enough"

The Government has agreed extra money to ease concerns about VAT being added to church repairs.

It says it cannot maintain zero rated VAT for alterations, but a grant has been set up to assist with repair work.

However, the Dean of Wakefield's wife, Pamela Greener, says the £30 million extra a year does not go far enough. She wants the church to join with other heritage buildings to keep the campaign for zero rating on all Big Society buildings, not just church or other faith buildings.

The plan to charge VAT on alterations to listed buildings has brought Wakefield Cathedral's regeneration scheme into serious jeopardy.

It would be churlish not to welcome the government's increased funding following their shock budget tax raid on the nation's heritage. At Wakefield Cathedralwe are in agony with worry over this issue and volunteer groups up and down the land felt similarly let down by the budget.

Churches form an important part of the nation's heritage, but they don't have amonopoly over it. This proposal offers short term church relief en route to long termchurch uncertainty accompanied by immediate additional expense for everyone else.

– Pamela Greener, Wakefield Cathedral