§ Mr. Spring
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated annual cost to his Department of all tax concessions to charities(a) as a total and (b) as a percentage of the total registered turnover of the charitable sector. 
§ Ms Hewitt
(a) The annual cost of all tax reliefs for charities is estimated at over £2 billion. This comprises around £1.2 billion of relief from direct tax, about £0.2 billion in VAT reliefs and £0.6 billion in business rate relief.
(b) The total turnover of the charitable sector is not known. The Charity Commission's Register showed at the end of March 1999 that the total annual income of all registered charities in England and Wales was about £21 billion. This does not cover charities in Scotland and Northern Ireland, nor does it include non-registered charities.