Clause 1 - Amendment of National Lottery etc. Act 1993

Part of National Lottery (Amendment) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 25th April 2001.

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Photo of Ian Gibson Ian Gibson Labour, Norwich North 10:30 am, 25th April 2001

It is a pleasure to serve under your tutelage and chairmanship again, Mr. Wells. We joined with each other during the original debate on hunting with dogs, and enjoyed that immensely. I also pay a compliment to Members from all parties who are present, many from East Anglia and Norfolk, for coming along to support the Bill.

The cross-party support has been very important, not just to me in my isolation as promoter of the Bill, but to the people in East Anglia who can see clearly that they will benefit from being able to access lottery money as a result of the removal of an anomaly in the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 that refuses to allow people with money in endowment trusts to access one arm of the Act. If anyone can explain why that happened, I look forward to hearing the explanation. I do understand that when laws are drawn up, things are sometimes missed. However, that does not mean that I support the House of Lords for rectifying everything. I would much prefer that rectification was done in this place; hopefully, that will happen.

I also extend great thanks to the Minister and the staff behind the throne, as it were—the legal beavers—who have been exciting me with amendments to amendments to amendments, and their efforts to make it easy to amend the 1993 Act to allow what we want to happen to happen.

Sometimes I would like to short-circuit some of these processes. It would be nice if a lottery form was simply slipped into the post to groups such as the ``We Care'' appeal, which make a difference to the thousands of carers in Norfolk, accompanied by a message saying, ``Please, please apply. We are very sympathetic. Just get the application in and we will see how we can assess it.'' I know that the world does not always work so easily, and that we have to play along with some of the finer legalities.

I am very grateful for the support that I have received. I look forward to hearing what progress the Minister has made in the discussions with the legal support that she has had. I again thank everyone for the Second Reading debate, which was excellent. The Bill was subjected to good scrutiny, which has been well minuted and written up in Hansard. I am grateful for the opportunity today to progress the Bill further.