Hove MP urges rethink over listed building tax
12:40pm Monday 30th April 2012 in News
An MP has urged his own Government to reverse changes to taxation on listed building renovation to save Brighton and Hove’s historical heritage.
Hove MP Mike Weatherley has written to Chancellor George Osborne over proposals for listed buildings work to be subject to VAT from October.
The changes announced in last month’s Budget could affect more than 1,200 listed buildings in the city as well as 356 listed churches in the Diocese of Chichester.
Previously a sliding scale from 0% to 20% VAT had been applied to work carried out to listed buildings but firms are now being advised privately by Revenues and Customs to charge 20% on everything.
St Peter’s Church in Brighton is currently undergoing massive refurbishment and could be one of the worst affected by the changes. Renovation of the interior plasterwork will cost in the region of
£100,000, meaning the church might have to find an extra £20,000 under the new guidelines.
Neil England, managing director of Portslade-based England’s Ornamental Plastering, said his firm, which has carried out work on many listed properties in the city, are is currently restoring St
Peter’s, had paid £4,500 over the past 12 months in unexpected VAT claims on “sliding scale” disagreements.
He said: “If Revenue and Customs keep doing this to every small business around, a lot of companies will be going belly up.
“Property owners will have to cut corners and the specialist firms who carry out this work will be unable to get work.
“These changes are extremely serious.”
Mr Weatherley said: “Brighton and Hove is blessed with a unique architectural heritage that we must protect.
“Along with many residents, I was not happy with the proposed changes to VAT rules for listed buildings so have written to my colleague George Osborne urging him to reconsider the matter.”
A Diocese of Chichester spokesman said: “All the money for work to these buildings has to be raised through voluntary contributions and the imposition of a further 20% VAT could in many instances
prove an insurmountable burden, with the real possibility that these important historic buildings may fall into disuse and may have to be closed.”
2:37pm Mon 30 Apr 12
On the positive side, practically every building built in Brighton/Hove over the past 40 years will never get listed status in the years to come… I mean, check out the architectural merit and legacy of the Jury’s hotel and New England Quarter! Surely up for demolition in 20 years or less!
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