Olympic Games 2012: National Lottery

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:42 pm on 6th December 2005.

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Photo of Lord Renton of Mount Harry Lord Renton of Mount Harry Conservative 2:42 pm, 6th December 2005

My Lords, that is precisely the Answer I expected from the Minister. He is quite right to regard the Olympics as an opportunity and not a threat; clearly that is so. But I hope he will agree that there are a number of what I would call customers—existing customers or future customers—of the lottery who are very worried at the potential diminution in the amount of money that will be available for them. For example, the Heritage Memorial Fund has said that it expects its moneys to fall from about £350 million a year to £230 million a year. Against that background and at this interim period of change in the lottery, could the Minister suggest to his Secretary of State two pieces of advice? First, Ministers should stop interfering in the lottery as much as possible and trying to direct money to their favourite projects for which they have failed to get money from the Treasury; and, secondly, if by chance the Olympics are overspent, that overspend will not be loaded on to the lottery.