§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on relieving charities of some or all of the costs of VAT on transactions directly related to their charitable objectives. 
§ Miss Melanie Johnson
[holding answer 27 July 2000]: Charities already benefit from a range of special VAT reliefs. Systems for relieving charities' irrecoverable VAT were given very careful consideration during the recent Review of Charity Taxation. In the Review's consultation 1033W document, published in March 1999, the Government made it clear that for reasons of principle and cost these were not ideas that it wished to pursue.