- 7 updates
The Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mark Hoban MP said there is money available through a Department for Culture, Media and Sport scheme, to help places of worship recover the VAT on repairs.
The Government claims its planned changes to the way VAT is charged on listed buildings is aimed at wealthy taxpayers - the sort of people who may want to install a swimming pool in their mansion, for example.
The problem is that they also managed to catch churches in the new rules, so work like installing disability ramps and community halls will become more expensive. Around two thirds of all listed buildings are churches.
This is, of course, the latest in a long line of negative headlines to come out of the Budget - from the 'granny tax' to the 'pasty tax'.
The Very Rev Jonathan Greener has said that planned changes to the way VAT is charged on listed buildings may bring renovation work on Wakefield Cathedral in West Yorkshire to a halt.
Speaking to ITV Calendar on March 27th, he said: "We want the Chancellor to rethink [and] to give us a longer consultation period".
The Very Rev Greener's wife has come up with a novel way of protesting against the changes with her 'VAT Ditty'.
The Church of England is urging people to sign a petition opposing the Government's plans to charge VAT on listed buildings, which it says could affect 125,000 churches.
Pamela Greener, the wife of the Dean of Wakefield Cathedral in West Yorkshire, has written and filmed a song in protest against the Government's plans to charge VAT on alterations to listed buildings.
Plans made in the Budget for changes in the way VAT is charged on the renovation of listed buildings has come under fire.
The Government says that charging 20% VAT on renovation works simply removes an anomaly that used to cause confusion over the difference between 'renovation' and 'improvement.'
But Labour says it's creating another needless cost.
Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman says it is going to cost churches and other heritage sites thousands of extra pounds a year.
David Cameron is facing a backlash from the Church over a planned change in VAT for building repairs and alterations.
From October this year the Treasury will charge VAT on approved alterations to listed buildings. Currently this is exempt from the tax.
Building work is currently zero rated if it is an approved alteration to a protected building, but standard rated if it is an alteration to any other building or if it is a maintenance or improvement.
This means that, for example, repairing the roof of a listed dwelling is standard rated whilst adding an extension to a listed dwelling or installing an indoor swimming pool would be zero rated.
The new legislation will remove the anomoly but The Church and labour MPs claim that could cost the church £20m a year.