Bingo Industry

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 8th June 2010.

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Photo of Simon Kirby Simon Kirby Conservative, Brighton, Kemptown 2:30 pm, 8th June 2010

What his policy is on taxation of the bingo industry; and if he will make a statement.

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Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

We keep all taxes under review. It would not be appropriate to discuss taxation in relation to bingo before the Budget in a couple of weeks, but we are keen to have a dialogue with the industry.

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Photo of Simon Kirby Simon Kirby Conservative, Brighton, Kemptown

Does the Minister agree that sometimes it is possible to increase revenue by reducing taxes?

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Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

I think that my hon. Friend is probably referring to the well-known Laffer curve. I am sure that he is aware, too, that the tax on bingo participation clubs was reduced in the last Budget from 22% to 20%. As I said, I look forward to talking to the industry over the coming months.

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Photo of Kelvin Hopkins Kelvin Hopkins Labour, Luton North

Is it not the case that bingo is taxed more severely than other more dangerous forms of gambling, and that the Government would do well if they at least brought them into line?

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Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

I know that that argument has been made by the industry, and I am aware of its campaign on fair taxation. We want fair taxation. One of the Government's key priorities is tackling the budget deficit, and ultimately the best way for us to support not just bingo clubs but other companies in Britain employing staff is to get the economy back on its feet, creating jobs so that people have money in their pocket to spend, including in bingo clubs.

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