COMECE Secretariat asks for reduced VAT rates in favour of families and cultural heritage
Given the social ethical dimension of fiscal politics and their impact on quality of life in society, the COMECE Secretariat participated in the consultation launched by the European Commission on 6 March to review the existing legislation on VAT reduced rates. The COMECE contribution suggests reducing VAT rates on goods and services relating to families, and the renovation of churches and places of worship.
Considering the unprecedented demographic changes which the EU is facing, the COMECE Secretariat underlines in its contribution the importance of designing fiscal measures which would facilitate the living conditions of families, especially those who wish to have more children. In this respect, the European Commission’s review of reduced VAT rates could be one of the legislative instruments that could help to create more favourable conditions for families on the EU level.
The COMECE Secretariat proposed including in the reduced VAT rates goods such as, child nappies (instead of baby nappies, as proposed by the Commission), childcare products, children’s car seats and services such as construction, renovation and maintenance of childcare facilities, provision, construction, renovation and alteration of social housing, as part of social policy.
The COMECE Secretariat welcomed the proposal of the European Commission to give Member States the possibility to reduce VAT rates on services relating to the repair of churches and other places of worship as part of the European cultural patrimony.
COMECE suggested extending the VAT reduction to restoration, conservation, renovation, and maintenance of churches and other places of worship, including objects of religious worship. This extension to services aimed at the preservation of religious buildings, and not only their repair, would help to prevent the unfortunate ruin and devastation of these buildings which are part of the common cultural heritage of Europe.
It is to be hoped that these suggestions will be taken into consideration by the European Commission, which is expected to publish a legislative proposal on the revision of reduced VAT rates in September.
Text of the COMECE Secretariat contribution to the consultation is available on www.comece.org