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Clause 7 - National Lottery Distribution Fund: apportionment

Part of National Lottery Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 25th October 2005.

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Photo of Don Foster Don Foster Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 12:45 pm, 25th October 2005

I am grateful for the answer that the Minister has given to the hon. Member for East Devon because it at least clears my name. I hope that the Minister will accept that I have on no occasion impugned the integrity of the Minister, the Secretary of State or Sir Clive Booth, who currently heads the Big Lottery Fund, in whom I have enormous confidence. He will do fantastic things with it.

The Minister just said, prior to his tirade to the hon. Gentleman, that the decision relating to 60 to 70 per cent. figure is for the Big Lottery Fund. Clearly, therefore, it is possible for the fund to change that decision. It is the will of some Committee members, if   not the Minister, to ensure that that decision is not changed. We want that figure to be included in the Bill to ensure that it will not be changed in the future. That would mean that if there was a need for a change at a later date, it would require a change to the legislation to achieve it—that, of course, is always possible. I hope that the Minister is absolutely clear: we want Parliament to decide the figure, not just the Big Lottery Fund, which could at a future date change its mind without the approval of Parliament.