Taxing Church Renovation in the UK

Chancellor George Osborne, who recently proposed adding a VAT tax on the renovation of historic properties, is facing some pushback. In a novel approach to protest, Pamela Greener, a former tax accountant and the wife of the dean of Wakefield Cathedral in the UK, has composed and recorded “The VAT Ditty” on YouTube. In it, she calls attention to the proposed tax, and laments the effect it would have on their renovation. A consultation is underway, and the clip is intended to rally opposition to the plan.

Here is the first stanza of Greener’s ditty:

Listen to this song from Wakefield Cathedral where we’re in a right old mess.
It’s taken four years to start our renovation, now the Budget’s caused us real distress;
There’s a threat to levy extra VAT on any Changes to buildings of antiquity,
So please sign the e-petition launched from our Cathedral — please help, this is an SOS!



One comment

  1. There is some merit in a simple tax system with no exemptions and so policy for many years has been to extend the range of goods and services subject to VAT.
    More interesting I think is the section in each of the various measures proposed is the “Equalities impacts”. Some people benefit from equalities legislation but those not in a protected group are “less equal” as George Orwell put it.
    We are slowly seeing how this will work. We can be certain that Catholic groups will never benefit from equalities legislation. This led to the closure of the adoption agencies and now puts at risk schools.
    It is truly frightening.

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