Methodist Church welcomes the Chancellor's statement on VAT

Chancellor Gordon Brown announced in today's budget that untilMarch 2006 churches and sacred places will be able to reclaim allVAT on repairs.

The Chancellor justified the move by saying: "Churches andsacred places are not just an essential part of our religious lifebut an important part of the history and the fabric of ourcountry".

Alan Pimlott, Connexional Property Secretary for the MethodistChurch, explained: "Under the Worship Grant Scheme listed churchbuildings are eligible for grants equivalent to 12.5% of the VAT onrepairs, but the Chancellor's budget report indicates that witheffect from 1 April 2004 all VAT on listed building works iseligible for grant"

On the direct implications for the Methodist Church he said:"The Methodist Property Office gave approval to 140 projects forlisted chapels last year, with a total cost of around £5m.Additional grants are therefore likely to make available a further£250,000 a year towards Methodist property schemes".