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Clause 7 - National Lottery Distribution Fund: apportionment

Part of National Lottery Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:30 pm on 25th October 2005.

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Photo of Andrew Turner Andrew Turner Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office) 12:30 pm, 25th October 2005

I am disappointed that Labour Members are criticising the amendment when, if they had taken these proceedings and the Minister's undertakings seriously, they could have proposed an amendment to the amendment to align it exactly with what the Minister said. I can only assume they did not do that because they did not support the intention of the amendment or what the Minister said.

I find it extraordinary that what the Minister is actually saying is that at least 30 per cent.—and perhaps nearly 40 per cent.—of Big Lottery Fund Income will not go to communities or charities. That is the meaning of the words that appear in column 175 of the Second Reading debate; the Minister guaranteed that

''between 60 and 70 per cent. of the''

Big Lottery Fund's income

''will go to communities or charities.''—[Official Report, 14 June 2005; Vol. 435, c. 175.]

That is a huge amount of money which the Minister proposes should go neither to communities nor to   charities. I hope that the Minister will accept, if not the figure of 70 per cent., then at least the intention of the amendment, which is that the commitment he has made should be stated in the Bill. As my hon. Friend the Member for East Devon said, Ministers come and go, and Big Lottery Fund boards come and go, and Chancellors get itchy fingers and their powers of taxation diminish as the economy goes downhill and they always want a bit more. I suspect that unless this commitment is included in the Bill, when the Minister reaches the red-and-white striped tent along the Terrace—