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New Clause 2 - DISTRIBUTING BODIES: CRITERIA FOR DISTRIBUTION

Part of National Lottery Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:45 pm on 3rd November 2005.

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Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport), Liberal Democrat Whip 1:45 pm, 3rd November 2005

Indeed. I was intrigued when the hon. Gentleman explained the rationale behind his thinking on the matter. However, I wonder whether the new clause is the best approach to solving the problem. After all, as has already been expressed in Committee, we know that the lottery’s reputation does not necessarily reflect the reality of the lottery funding that is allocated. There are already gross public misconceptions about where lottery money goes. The ICM poll, commissioned last year by the National   Council for Voluntary Organisations, says that the public believe that the same amount of lottery money is going, for example, to help asylum seekers as to support disabled people. In fact, the amount going to disabled people is actually ten times as much as that going to asylum seekers.

There are misconceptions out there, which, in many cases, harm the reputation of the lottery. Several high-profile cases—the guinea pigs have now been mentioned for the fourth time in this debate—may have had an impact on the reputation of the lottery. However, I am not yet convinced that the solution is clause 2. Surely the problem is public understanding of what the lottery does, which is why it is welcome that there are now in place lots of programmes to raise public awareness of the good work that it does.

The Committee had an earlier debate in which we stated the importance of ensuring that the distinction between raising awareness of the good work that the lottery does and encouraging people to play the lottery is clear. We must ensure that the bodies, whose good work we support, are publicised, and schemes such as the blue plaque scheme all help that.