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Clause 7 - National Lottery Distribution Fund: apportionment

Part of National Lottery Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 25th October 2005.

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Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire Chair, Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 11:15 am, 25th October 2005

I hope that the Minister is right, and that the answer is factually correct, because the answer is from the Minister himself. To read what it says:

''The Millennium Commission's current balance held in the National Lottery Distribution Fund is £83 million, of which £67 million has been committed to existing grant programmes and for operating costs. The Millennium Commission remains in operation, and Commissioners retain discretion to offer further grants where they believe this to be appropriate.

Under the provisions of the National Lottery Bill, the Big Lottery Fund as successor body would take on any remaining balance and funding commitments.''—[Official Report, 21 October 2005; Vol. 437, c. 1244W.]

If the Millennium Commission remains in operation and the commissioners retain the discretion to offer further grants where they believe them to be appropriate, and the only amount of money available is the difference between £83 million and £67 million, there will not be much of a balance left. By all means, let us talk about the merging of the other two bodies, but the Minister should not pray in aid the Millennium Commission as a third pillar that needs bringing under control when there is effectively nothing left in it.