Clause 17

Part of Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:45 pm on 15 October 2008.

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Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban Shadow Minister (Treasury) 3:45, 15 October 2008

I do not dispute the challenges behind this proposal. However, I do not want a situation in which a local authority decides to withdraw funding because it knows that money will come. That is why new subsection (4A)(c) in the amendment states that the money must not

“replace statutory funding that has been withdrawn or is in danger of being withdrawn”.

It would be easy for a local authority to decide not to fund a youth club, a youth group or a financial inclusion project in its area in the knowledge that it will be bailed out by the Big Lottery Fund. That is a challenge. The Big Lottery Fund currently gives money to local authorities that might in a way be substituted by some of the money that will come through the scheme. Additionality is critical to the Bill because people want us to spend more money on these priorities, not to substitute the money from dormant accounts for Government money.

One of the original objectives of the national lottery was to try to increase the money available to community organisations and voluntary groups. That purpose has been diminished somewhat because money from the Big Lottery Fund goes to meet some Government priorities. There is a sense that if this creeps into the allocation of money from the reclaim fund, there will be no augmentation of the resources available: the same money will be spent but will be funded from different sources. We want some assurance from the Minister about how he believes the scheme will work in practice to ensure that additional money is found and this is not a substitute.