To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what estimate he has made of the likely proceeds from the proposed national lottery which will be available for distribution to the arts, sport, heritage, charities and the millennium fund.
What does the Minister say to the many people who have high expectations of the national lottery, and who now realise that the Chancellor will take nearly three times as much of the proceeds as charities—and, indeed, any other beneficiaries? What will he tell those people, who realise that when—as is inevitable—the Chancellor raises the rate of taxation on the lottery, more money will go to the Exchequer than to all the other beneficiaries combined?
The latter part of the hon. Gentleman's question is pure speculation. In answer to the earlier part, let me say first that it was always thought right for some taxation to apply, as it was always envisaged that some expenditure would be displaced from other goods and services bearing tax. Secondly, let me say that I am delighted that the level of tax has been set at only 12 per cent., although the hon. Gentleman and other Opposition Members have been telling us for some weeks in Committee that it would be between 20 and 30 per cent.
I trust that my hon. Friend, and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor, will note that once the lottery's proceeds are distributed, the Treasury will make a considerable amount from VAT on capital projects and the like.
Are my hon. Friend's officials taking the earliest possible steps to appoint a director general and to produce the tender documents for promoters? We hope that those documents will be as simple as possible, thereby encouraging innovation.
We are making progress as rapidly as we can, but we can make little further progress until the House has agreed to the legislation. We hope very much that we shall be able to do so before too long: following Royal Assent, which we hope will take place by the summer, we shall be in a position to make the appointments to which my hon. Friend has referred.
Given what the National Council for Voluntary Organisations has called the Chancellor's "sheer greed" in taking 12p off the top of every £1 ticket, will not the five good causes have to share a maximum of between 25p and 26p? As was pointed out by my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Kilfoyle), that will leave the charities with 5p between them. Will the Minister join me in recognising that we made a mistake in Committee—that we should have nailed down a minimum of 35 per cent. for good causes on the face of the Bill? Will he now undertake to table an amendment to that effect on Report?
No—for the very good reason that we debated that precise point at some length in Committee. I well recall explaining that putting a fixed figure on the amount to go to good causes would not necessarily be in the interests of those good causes, among whom the overall amount raised would then be distributed.
I know that my hon. Friend wants to be helpful to charities. Will he give an undertaking to monitor any displacement of charitable giving that may result from the national lottery, and also to monitor the net impact of the lottery on charitable giving?
Fortunately, that will not be for Ministers to decide; it will be decided by the committees of the arts councils responsible. That is why I think that the establishment of a separate arts council for Wales will benefit Welsh orchestras.
If the proceeds of the national lottery are as generous as my hon. Friend and many other hon. Members hope, will my hon. Friend consider adjusting the ring fence that he has placed around it? It might then be possible for the money received to replace taxpayers' funding of the arts, sport and so forth. Public expenditure would be saved and sport would benefit, because, on that calculation, it would receive more than it receives now.
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what examination his Department has made of the impact of the proposed national lottery on fund raising for non-league soccer clubs, rugby union and other sports clubs; and what representations he has had by or on behalf of such clubs.
We received a number of representations from sports clubs and have amended the Bill. We do not anticipate that the national lottery will have any demonstrable impact on the fund-raising activities of football or sports clubs. Participation in those activities is primarily motivated by an interest in or association with the organisation concerned.
Is the Secretary of State aware that thousands upon thousands of people enjoy and benefit from watching soccer at the level below the Football League—the Vauxhall conference, and the Diadora Isthmian, Beazer Homes and HFS Loans leagues? The clubs who play in those leagues, and other non-league clubs, are very much dependent on local lotteries and scratch cards. Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that those clubs will not be prejudiced in their fund raising by the impact of the lottery Bill and may continue to raise funds by a combination of scratch cards and their own lotteries, as well as benefiting from the spot-the-ball competitions that fund some of the clubs' activities?
The National Lottery Etc. Bill contains measures to increase the maximum proceeds in any one society or local authority lottery, to increase the maximum prize, and to amend existing registration requirements for lotteries. All those measures will make small lotteries more attractive. My hon. Friend the Minister and I listened to constructive criticism in Committee and have sought to make those changes more attractive.
Will the Secretary of State introduce further amendments on Report? Is he not aware that many small football clubs, from Tranmere to Rochdale, and many small charities are concerned about the national lottery's effects on them? Does the right hon. Gentleman intend to use proceeds from the national lottery to finance Olympic projects in the Manchester bid? If so, is that not money which otherwise might have been used for sport and the arts?
My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary and I will look at observations that were made in Committee before the Bill reaches Report stage. When I watched Bolton Wanderers score a notable victory over Leyton Orient, Bolton Wanderers took the opportunity to make representations to me. I have not yet replied to them. In the context of the Olympic bid, it is important first to secure the nomination of Manchester in September.