18 June 2012
Scottish conservation groups have united in their opposition to a proposed tax which would remove VAT relief on changes to properties which have listed building status. ...
Scottish conservation groups have united in their opposition to a proposed tax which would remove VAT relief on changes to properties which have listed building status.
Scottish conservation groups have spoken out against a government proposal which would remove VAT relief on changes to properties which have listed building status. Under the new plans, any group or individual making repairs to a listed building would face a greater outlay than at present. Currently, VAT is only charged on repairs and maintenance to listed buildings, but not alterations.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said of the proposals: 'We remain disappointed with the approach of the UK Government and will continue to press the issue as we believe raising VAT on alterations to listed buildings, rather than lowering the rate charged on repairs, creates a disincentive on keeping them in use.
'Rather than impose greater costs, our approach should be to encourage demand for the traditional building skills. This approach would support the construction sector and stimulate economic growth.'
The Herald newspaper carried a comment from a National Trust for Scotland spokesperson which said: 'Although we are a charity and this does not apply to us, we have added our voice to the objections because the implications of this are potentially hugely damaging to Scotland's historic buildings. We do not think the Treasury have thought this through, in a similar manner to the knock-on effect we saw from the pasty tax.'
A Treasury spokesperson said that the proposed change was designed to address anomalies in the current system.
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