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Tax is part of parishes’ insurance burden

by
07 February 2014

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From the Revd Christopher Wilson

Sir, - Mr Powell's concern at the cost of church insurance (Letters, 31 January) will no doubt resonate widely. It is, indeed, a heavy expense, which many of us would be glad to see reduced.

Premiums are inflated by Insurance Premium Tax (IPT), levied at six per cent. From my two parishes alone, that means the Treasury gains more than £1200 annually. (What is the figure, I wonder, for the whole Church?) It seems invidious to lay this tax burden on volunteers who shoulder the responsibility for much of the nation's built heritage while also engaging with the increasing practical and social needs of our communities.

Is it time to press for relief from IPT for listed places of worship and charities? I have arranged to raise the matter with my MP later this month; others may wish to do likewise. To assess the strength of feeling, I have also set up a page at www.facebook.com/scrapchurchipt. Please "Like" it, share it, and add your comments, if you would support such a campaign.

Finally I have applied to set up an e-petition ("Give relief from Insurance Premium Tax . . ."), which should go live very shortly, and which I hope and trust you will kindly publicise.

CHRISTOPHER WILSON
The Vicarage, Clive House
Kenilworth Road
Leamington Spa CV32 5TL

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