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Clause 7 - National Lottery Distribution Fund: apportionment

Part of National Lottery Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 25th October 2005.

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Photo of Richard Caborn Richard Caborn Minister of State (Sport), Department for Culture, Media & Sport 11:30 am, 25th October 2005

I cannot answer that question straight away, but I will either write to the hon. Gentleman or give him an answer later in our consideration of the Bill.

Government amendment No. 4 will allow the prescribed expenditure under new section 22(3), which will define the Big Lottery Fund's good causes, to include expenditure in any of the Channel Islands, thereby allowing the fund to make grants to bodies on those islands. Government amendments Nos. 7 and 8 provide that money held in the national lottery distribution fund may be used by the Big Lottery Fund for the benefit of the Channel Islands. Clearly, Government amendments Nos. 4, 7 and 8 are dependent on each other.

Government amendment No. 9 allows the Big Lottery Fund to delegate any of its funding functions to another body established on the Channel Islands. That would enable a body with local experience of the Channel Islands to make decisions on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund. By enabling the distribution of lottery money on the Channel Islands, the amendments would allow the people on the islands to join in a much larger lottery. That would bring them larger amounts of lottery funding and the opportunity to win large prizes. However, we in the UK would also benefit from the Channel Islands joining. We would experience a small but positive increase to the national lottery distribution fund—a view that is strengthened by figures suggesting that the islanders would be above-average ticket buyers. The Channel Islands would have access only to the new good causes of charitable expenditure, health, education and the environment, meaning that they would have access to only half the good cause money. In spite of that limitation, there remains considerable interest in being involved in the national lottery.

Amendments Nos. 55 to 58 would amend clause 14, but they are related to the matters that we are debating. I see the point of the amendments. On the face of it the Isle of Man is treated differently from, say, Scotland; but there are legal and practical reasons for that. The Isle of Man is not a part of the United Kingdom, and the constitutional relationship between   Parliament and the Tynwald and the Isle of Man Government is complex. It is not normal practice for the UK Parliament to confer functions on the Tynwald, a legislative body, or on the Isle of Man Government.

Similarly, it is not normal practice to give a non-UK Government powers to be exercised in the UK covering a UK public body. A further difficulty lies in the fact that the Isle of Man authorities are not subject to UK law. It would be impossible to enforce the various requirements of devolved Administrations such as the Scottish Executive in relation to the issuing of directions—the requirement to consult the Big Lottery Fund and to obtain the consent of the Secretary of State before giving the directions.

The provision to allow the Big Lottery Fund to distribute lottery money in the Isle of Man has been developed in consultation with the Isle of Man authorities. We can be confident that it will not cause any difficulties when it comes to distributing money from the Big Lottery Fund to good causes in the Isle of Man. It was not raised as a problem in our discussions with the Isle of Man authorities, and the powers of direction will be used broadly to define community priorities that accommodate most schemes that the Isle of Man people might want to see funded. We shall consult them about that. That last point in particular should give the hon. Member for East Devon some real assurance. In light of it I ask that the amendment is not pressed to a vote.