§ Mr. Sawford
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to introduce the reduced rate of VAT for listed churches; and if this proposal has been approved by the European Commission. 
§ Mr. Spring
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what indication he has received about the timetable for European Commission proposals to include repairs, maintenance and improvements to places of worship listed in Annex H of the 6 VAT Directive, to make it possible for member states to apply a reduced rate of VAT to such services; and what assessment he has made of the likelihood of such a change being agreed. 
§ Dawn Primarolo
[holding answer 29 January 2001]: The Government are continuing their discussions with the European Commission on a reduced VAT rate for listed places of worship. A preliminary reply has indicated that this will be considered by the Commission in their general review of reduced rates that will take place in 2003. In the interim period the Government are considering special arrangements to help congregations pay for repairs to listed church buildings.