A SEQUEL to a protest song warning that government plans could put Wakefield Cathedral’s restoration in jeopardy has been released.
The Sequel with The George Osborne Sextet has been written and performed by the Dean of Wakefield’s wife Pamela Greener and follows her first release The VAT Ditty.
The songs, recorded in the nave of the partially demolished Grade 1 listed building, slam the government’s budget announcement that VAT could be introduced on listed building restoration projects.
And her second protest song was released on Wednesday ahead of the National Charities Conference in London, where Mrs Greener will be making a speech.
The musician and tax consultant is set to unveil the new song, The Sequel with The George Osborne Sextet, in front of an audience of MPs, tax and revenue experts and charity leaders.
The first song has so far been viewed more than 17,000 times on YouTube.
Mrs Greener said: “This Government came into power waving the Big Society flag and yet two years on we are still waiting to hear how this translates into practical benefits at a local community level,
“No-one has chosen to own these listed buildings and many communities up and down the country are burdened with them, so why should they be penalised by being forced to pay VAT on making them fit for purpose or renewing them for 21st century use.
“This Government needs to walk the talk and deliver a Big Society action plan from a Big Society Government.”
Work to renew the city’s landmark began in March with the removal of the floor and pews.
Plans to charge VAT at 20 per cent on alterations to listed buildings were announced three days later, adding a potential £200,000 in VAT onto the bill and putting the whole £5m project at risk.
The Dean of Wakefield, the Very Revd Jonathan Greener, said: “Such short notice has catastrophic consequences for our project here in Wakefield and for any group wanting to preserve, alter or breathe new life into any listed building in this country.
“This added unforeseen cost paralyses us here – we can’t go backwards and we can’t go forwards. This is a terrible tragedy for our nation’s rich and varied heritage and it must be stopped.”