The Archdeacon of London, the Venerable David Meara, has joined the crusade against the government’s proposals to increase VAT on alterations to listed buildings.
The Archdeacon is also Rector of St Bride’s, which recently launched a capital appeal to raise £2.5m for essential repairs to the fabric of the Grade 1 listed building in London’s Fleet Street. The Church has itself committed its entire reserves for the year to the appeal and the proposed VAT rise will severely impact on fundraising.
Meara described the proposed rise as a “clumsy measure that will be a heritage tax on the custodians of historic buildings”.
He has joined the campaign begun by Wakefield Cathedral against the proposal and has invited Pamela Greener, the wife of the Dean of Wakefield, to perform her newest anti-VAT ditty at St Bride’s this coming Sunday.
Greener’s piano performances challenging the VAT increase have become Youtube hits, with the first, ‘The VAT ditty’, being viewed nearly 20,000 times and ‘VAT Ditty – the Sequel’ getting over 1,700 views. The sequel premiered at the Charity Tax Group Tax Conference last week, where Greener was speaking.
Her latest endeavour, ‘Big Society Buildings ditty’, takes the issue beyond just Wakefield Cathedral to demonstrate support for churches and other listed buildings around the country. It will feature the choir of St Bride’s accompanying Mrs Greener.
Scroll down to see the VAT Ditty....