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That this House recognises that the decision in the Budget to levy standard-rate VAT on improvement, alteration and restoration works to 12,500 listed cathedral and church buildings could cost the Church of England 20 million a year from October 2012 and that the proposed extension to the rebate scheme will not cover the increased costs; notes that the deans of 23 cathedrals, including Canterbury, Durham and York, have signed an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer urging him to change his policy to one that will support rather than damage the nation's heritage and warning that the policy seriously damages the sustainability of many great buildings; further notes that this would seriously damage the voluntary efforts of parishioners at the Holy Cross Church in Ryton who have been fundraising for many years to make a much-needed series of improvements and that the proposed change would add 15,000 to the costs of plans to make the church as accessible as possible; supports their e-petition (www.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petititions/32229); and urges the Government to reconsider this counter-productive policy whilst making sure that it is not exploited by wealthy individuals.
Total number of signatures: 38
Showing 38 out of 38