HC Deb 12 July 1982 vol 27 cc794-814
Mr. Jim Lester (Beeston)

I beg to move amendment No. 5, in page 153, line 1, leave out paragraph 2.

Mr. Lester

The amendment is in the name of myself and several other right hon. and hon. Members who have a concern for good football, its place in our society and the need for a healthy thriving industry that is the joy of millions. This is an interesting week in which to have the debate as it marks the end of the World Cup. The huge coverage of this event may have offended a minority, but it has resulted in the Italian Government retaining office, despondency in Argentina, a sad rise in the suicide rate in Brazil, heart-searching in England and Scotland, and considerable pride in plucky Northern Ireland getting as far as it did. It has had more column inches in the press, and more television coverage than anything that we do in the House. It is sad that the debate should come at this time of the night when the terraces are rather empty.

The purpose of the amendment is to correct the impression that the football pools are in a position to stand the extra taxation imposed by the schedule, and to ask of the Government what plans they have to restore the £¼ million that will be lost to the Football League and the Football Association through these changes, and through them, those clubs that are not the glamour boys at the top of the First Division, but who are the solid professional backbone of soccer in our towns and cities.

The Economic Secretary, in a letter justifying the increase of duty from 40 per cent. to 42 per cent. claimed that: in the 1981–82 football season the turnover of the pools has been particularly buoyant … We shall … continue to watch the situation, but there is at present no reason to believe that the total stakes will not continue to rise. I understand that that is not so. The pools business is not buoyant. Over the 1981–82 season all firms in the Football Promoters Association reported a decline in the number of coupons received. The number was down nearly 7 per cent. for most of the year, but it worsened to 8 per cent. in April on a year on year basis. This is an unheard of pattern of events, only previously experienced in the period of gloom in the pools industry in the late 1960s. Only radical action then saved the pools from disaster and they know that any decline, once started, will prove self-accelerating. It is obvious that less business means diminished prizes, which means less business. There is no reason why the pools should automatically continue as a thriving operation, and once it goes into the vortex it may never recover.

In terms of cash turnover the Government's view is an equally misleading one. The increase in stakes in the 1981–82 season was up by 17 per cent. on 1980–81, but this conceals a state of affairs that is not as healthy as it looks. Stake units were increased by one-third in 1980–81. The most pessimistic forecast would be for such an increase to produce an uplift of 23 per cent. or more in the stakes received by the pools companies. To receive only a 16 per cent. increase is therefore a poor performance, and the factors that are involved do not permit optimistic expectations for the years that follow. One cannot look for any notable increase unless something changes. The industry sees this extra tax as a fresh lead weight in the saddle pocket of a faltering horse, and the pools promoters cannot be encouraged by it—indeed, quite the contrary.

I share that concern because of the effect that it could have on employment, particularly in areas of the highest unemployment. The simple, practical truth is that, if the industry declines and the number of bits of paper that it receives each week go down, the work of handling those bits of paper must require fewer hands.

If one looks at the league table of employment in the pools industry, in areas where the need is greatest, one sees that no other industry has such an excellent record. Out of a total of 9,312 employees, 6,300 are employed in Merseyside, 1,000 in Glasgow, 850 in Cardiff, only 800 in London, and only 250 in Leicester. My worry is that, by singling out this industry for an extra tax of £11 million, the Government may damage the future of the industry and its ability to employ people in those sensitive areas of the country.

The second point was the £250,000 shortfall that will go to both the League and the Association. It is true that football needs to look to its future and that changes need to be made. However, football is not strong financially. The collapse of Wolverhampton Wanderers could be the forerunner of many other clubs. Clubs depend on a variety of sources for cash to maintain and improve their facilities so that they can be more widely used. Football is now in such a parlous state that it cannot stand further reductions and survive in its present form. It is a tragedy that we are holding this debate in this week in Britain, which gave football to the world.

I ask the Minister to consider whether he cannot forgo the unfair increase in taxation on the pools promoters. Can he ensure that the game itself and all that depends on it—his future revenue, the pleasure of millions, and the industry—will not be the loser?

Mr. Denis Howell (Birmingham, Small Heath)

I support the hon. Member for Beeston (Mr. Lester) in the all-party proposition that he has put to the House. The fact that it is all-party suggests, as he said, that football is of enormous social importance in the life of our country—and not just at the top. The hon. Gentleman rightly outlined the difficulties facing many of our professional clubs.

In sport one cannot divorce international performance by a national team from the inspiration or the effect that it has. That applies right down to our schools. We are debating our national sport, and its health must be important to all of us. We should encourage it in every way. We should encourage revenue to go to schools and the amateur side of the game, as well as to the professional clubs which, to their credit, are increasingly providing facilities for youth and the communities that they serve. The Government have left the social importance of sport out of their squalid calculations.

2.30 am

Perhaps the most important argument is that all recent Governments have discriminated against the football pool punter compared with other gamblers. It is not to the credit of the House that 42½p of each £1 put on a football pool goes to the Chancellor of the Exchequer before a penny is taken for expenses, before prize money is extracted and before any goes back to football. But for each £1 spent on bingo the tax is only l0p. A total of 90p of the bingo player's £1 will be used for expenses and the distribution of prizes. That cannot be fair.

For off-course betting the tax is only 8p in the pound, so the position is even more ridiculous. Under the "ITV Seven" system, only 8 per cent. tax is paid. If a person bets on each transaction, he pays seven times 8 per cent., but, because of the ITV roll-up bet, that does not happen. I am not encouraging the Chancellor to increase the tax on multiple betting, but I am saying that the system discriminates against the football pool punter.

The law of diminishing returns is beginning to operate. The system is nonsense for the Treasury. The letter quoted earlier is a give-away of Government thinking. The Minister said that the pools turnover was particularly buoyant. That is not so. He has been advised wrongly. The amount of betting on pools has reduced substantially It went down by 7 per cent. last season as a whole and by 8 per cent. since April. Since the Budget the position has worsened. There is nothing surprising in that.

The Royal Commission on Gambling, in its report in 1978, stated: The rate of taxation—40‥—is high when considered as a tax on stakes. But it is also high when regarded as a tax on expenditure. In 1975–76 punters collectively spent 72‥ of their stakes (the other 28‥ Was returned in prizes). The tax was 56‥ of their expenditure. We recorded in our Interim Report our view that with tax at this level, there was no scope for squeezing more from the pools, for sport or for the Exchequer. The rate of taxation is markedly higher than the tax on any other form of gambling, and it is partly because of this that the pools provide the punter with a lower rate of return—less than 30 per cent—than any other form of gambling. We believe that the rate of duty is unjustifiably high. It is excessive looked at on its own or in the context of practice abroad. We recommend that pool betting duty should be reduced from 40 per cent. to at most 37 per cent. We should like to know from the Minister today why, in the construction of the Budget, that advice has been not only ignored but completely contradicted.

I have said that a tax on football pools is no credit to any Government, including that in which I served. I know the arguments that went on. This argument did not start with the Royal Commission on Gambling. It goes back a long way, but in modern times it started with the Chester committee. The Minister looks pained. I must tell him that I established that committee. One of its recommendations was that there should be a levy on all gambling for the benefit of football. I spent much time trying to persuade my Treasury colleagues when I was a Minister to adopt that recommendation.

The most difficult Minister was the then right hon. Member for Birmingham, Stechford now the right hon. Member for Glasgow, Hillhead (Mr. Jenkins). When I tried to persuade him to adopt the Chester committee's report and get some money back into football, which desperately needed it, he persuaded the Cabinet, much to my chagrin, that we did not want that but to set up a Royal Commission to have another look at the matter. Therefore, we had the Royal Commission instead of the levy board that the Chester committee recommended to the House.

I give that brief history so that the House will appreciate how long we have been looking at the problem and how matters have continued to deteriorate in the meantime.

Another small set of statistics will illustrate the points that we have been making. Turnover on betting duties from racing in the 10 years from 1972 to 1982 has produced an increase of 201 per cent. The total turnover on all types of betting duties in those 10 years was 109 per cent., but the pool betting duty increased by only 118 per cent. in that period. Again, the figures emphasise that the law of diminishing returns has operated successfully for quite some time, apparently unnoticed by our friends in the Treasury.

The effect is totally unfair. Football pools now pay a tax of 42.5 per cent. Therefore, the tax as a percentage of money lost is 57 per cent. That is before expenses or prizes or any contribution to sport.

On off-course betting on an 8 per cent. gross stake the tax as a percentage of money lost is 40 per cent. As regards bingo, on a 10 per cent. tax, the tax as a percentage of money lost is 33 per cent. Casinos on the new formula have a 16 per cent. loss. On gaming machines, the loss is 15 per cent. Therefore, on any comparison, this tax is blatantly unfair to the person who wishes to enjoy a flutter or a small gamble on the football pools. Most of them are not the big-time gamblers who invest hundreds of pounds at racetracks or casinos, but people for whom the pools offer some interest in life. They can try to get their eight score draws up each week.

How does all this affect football? By an odd quirk, the net result is that the Government will increase their revenue by £11 million to £14 million, but football revenue will decrease, because the football pools have now got to pay 42½ per cent. tax before calculating how much they will pay in copyright to the Football League. I am glad that the president of the Football League is here to support us. I was very pleased to notice that his team, Notts County—which operates almost on a shoestring—was doing very well.

However, while the new 2½ per cent. addition to football pools will increase the revenue to the Treasury, it will decrease the revenue to football. That is very serious. We need not hide the fact that football, our national sport, faces considerable problems. They are not entirely of its own making. Most people now realise that the troubles that ferment at football grounds are the troubles of society, using football as the vehicle of expression. They have little, if anything, to do with football as a sport. Regrettably, one need only go to some of our London clubs to see the Fascist organisations and others causing considerable difficulties. That means that the football authorities incur colossal costs. For example, an enormous amount is spent on policing inside the grounds.

The various ministerial working parties on football crowd behaviour and all who have considered the problem realise that our football grounds, which were built at the turn of the century as products of the Industrial Revolution, need a long of money spent on them for modernisation.

Mr. Straw

Including Blackburn Rovers.

Mr. Howell

That club is worthy of mention as one of our oldest and most historic teams.

In the interests of society, law and order and peace it is vital that football clubs should have the resources to provide more seating and other facilities. Some of us think that it is more important to ensure that our football grounds become the centres of sporting activity in the communities that they serve. Under present arrangements, the Football League receives about £4.5 million per annum from the football pool promoters and another £4.75 million via the Football Trust. We are all grateful to successive Treasury Ministers for having acknowledged that contribution. The spot-the-ball competitions remain tax-free, and long may that continue to be the case. However modest the payments, the Football Association will suffer even more because its job is to develop the game at the grass roots—in the schools and clubs. However, for the reasons that I have given, the professional sides have heavy ground costs. Therefore, the minimum amount of additional return that the Treasury is to get will reduce the amount available to football at a time when football cannot afford it and when the national interest demands that more resources should be put into our professional grounds.

The other reasons are equally compelling. The pools have declined and taken a nosedive. It is in the Treasury's interests to assist them and not to impose a further handicap. I hope that the House will join in deploring the discriminatory effect that this additional tax will have on people who take part in football pools compared with any other form of betting.

2.45 am
Mr. John Carlisle (Luton, West)

I support my hon. Friend the Member for Beeston (Mr. Lester) and endorse the sentiments expressed by the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Small Heath (Mr. Howell), who has earned the great respect of the House for his deep and expert knowledge of football. I represent a constituency that has one of the finest football teams in the country.

The right hon. Member for Small Heath did not underestimate the severe effect that this increase in football duty could have upon football clubs. It could not come at a worse time because both large and small football clubs are suffering from the recession. They had a terrible winter because of the weather, and they are suffering from the great social problems that affect us all. In many towns like mine, football clubs have to provide live entertainment. That is now threatened if this duty is imposed. It is right that the House should discuss it.

Clubs' expenses increase daily, especially those that result from legislative requirements for the safety of grounds, and the cost of the police, as the right hon. Member for Small Heath mentioned. Football clubs have suffered from inflation and the recession as much as anybody else. They are the lifeline of many towns in the industrial Midlands. It is nonsense for the Treasury to take more money out of the game, under the mistaken impression that the pools industry is thriving. I ask the Economic Secretary to think about it again.

The football world has a great ally in the Minister with responsibility for sport. In a recent speech to the Football Association he said: It makes me appreciate even more how even more perilous the situation would be without the injection of funds into football by the Pool Promoters Association over the last six years. Although we are not here to discuss the football grounds improvement trust, it is a fact that without that money and the money that has come from betting tax over the years many football clubs could find themselves in a similar position to that of Wolverhampton Wanderers if matters do not improve. I implore the Economic Secretary to look carefully at the tax and to realise that we are not crying crocodile tears for an industry that sometimes suffers adverse publicity through no fault of its own. I urge the Economic Secretary to think about the damaging effect that this tax will have on football clubs and to reconsider his decision.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Beeston (Mr. Lester) on the judicious timing of his amendment. He was right to draw attention to the stirring events of the last few days and the background that they provided for our discussion of the amendment. He said that the outcome of the World Cup had saved the Italian Government. It occurred to me to wonder for how long it had saved them, but perhaps one should not look at things in that way in debating this amendment at this time of night.

I am slightly inhibited in that we had a fairly extensive discussion in Committee on precisely this proposition and I cannot add greatly to what I said then. The reason why my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer decided that it was appropriate to make this increase in the pool betting duty was that in a Budget at a time when we believed that it was appropriate generally to increase the duty on different forms of betting and gaming we did not feel that we could reasonably make an exception of the pools betting duty.

The right hon. Member for Birmingham, Small Heath (Mr. Howell) and my hon. Friend the Member for Beeston referred to the danger of our becoming embroiled in the law of diminishing returns. I readily admit that it is always an anxiety of the Treasury that it may be seeking to extract revenue beyond the point at which that law sets in. There is little evidence to sustain that proposition in this case, however. In recent years, total stakes in pool betting have risen from £261 million in 1976–77 to £284 million in 1977–78, £299 million in 1978–79, £344 million in 1979–80, £396 million in 1980–81 and £440 million in 1981–82. Moreover, I remind the House, as I reminded the Committee, of the remarkable fact that when the duty was increased in 1974—not from 40p to 42p, but by a far larger amount from 33p to 40p—there was no fall-off in the amount of stake money going into pools betting. On the contrary, in the ensuing year the total increased yet again. On past experience, therefore, I see no reason to expect that we shall run into the law of diminishing returns at this point.

I recognise, as I did in Committee, the teachings of Lord Rothschild and his Royal Commission. As I explained to the Committee, I have never believed that Royal Commissions should be treated as infallible or their reports as Holy Writ. Indeed, I recalled to the Committee the definition given by the right hon. Member for Huyton (Sir H. Wilson) of a Royal Commission as a body to take minutes and waste years. From what we have heard today, that seems to have been precisely the background to the appointment of the Rothschild Commission. I have read its comments carefully and I treat its judgment with respect, but I do not find it an overwhelming argument against the change proposed by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor.

On the implications of the increase in the tax for the arrangements between the Pools Promoters Association and the football authorities, I entirely understand the anxieties expressed by my hon. Friends the Members for Beeston and for Luton, West (Mr. Carlisle) and by the right hon. Member for Small Heath, but it is important to put this in perspective. My hon. Friend the Member for Beeston referred to a prospective loss of revenue of £¼ million as a result of the increase in duty. That is probably on the high side. The figure that was quoted in Committee, which would probably stand up to inspection from the Opposition, was that there was a potential loss of revenue of about £200,000 that might otherwise accrue from the Pools Promoters Association to the football clubs. That would work out at under £2,000 per club. I accept what the right hon. Member for Small Heath and others have said about the serious financial position of many clubs at the moment, but £2,000 in one direction or another is a small matter compared with the scale of the financial problems that many of the clubs face.

I recognise the anxieties that the increase in the pools betting duty is liable to create. I accept that we shall need to keep it under review, and if it became apparent that the taxation was subject to the law of diminishing returns we should need to think again. But on experience I cannot say that I see the evidence to support that proposition.

Mr. Denis Howell


Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

I cannot give way. We have had a lengthy debate and I must bring my remarks to a close. We have had quite a debate on the amendment and, bearing in mind the extensive debate that we had in Committee, I have to tell the House that we do not accept that there is evidence to expect that the law of diminishing returns will intervene. We need the revenue. We believe that it would not be appropriate to leave pools betting out of the range of increases in duties on betting and gambling which my right hon. and learned Friend included in his Budget. I must therefore advise the House that we cannot accept the amendment.

Mr. John Golding (Newcastle-under-Lyme)

I wish to register the Opposition's disgust at the failure of the Minister to give way. It has long been traditional in debates which are not subject to a time limit and in which matters of practical detail are being debated that if an hon. Member wishes to challenge a Minister on his facts the Minister gives way. It is not in the best interests of debate in the House if the Minister refuses to give way, puts his head deep into a brief and refuses to argue the toss. We can only conclude that the Minister has no case to present and is afraid of my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Small Heath (Mr. Howell).

Mr. Jim Lester

I am sure that the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Small Heath (Mr. Howell) has been in the House long enough to know that if he seeks to make a point or to correct anything that the Minister has said he can find a way of doing it.

This has been a short debate in the interests of all our colleagues who are still here at 3 am. We have proved that we have an all-party collection of Members that takes a real and active interest in football and wishes it to be viable in the future. We recognise that finance is critical to that end. We shall, I am sure, be having wider discussions with my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary as the figures emerge through the coming season. I hope that his pledge that he does not want to be party to anything which appears to concern the law of diminishing returns is a sincere one, and that when we are able to point out that that is the case he will change the tax.

With that assurance, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Hon. Members


Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 43, Noes 112.

Division No. 266] [3 am
Booth, Rt Hon Albert McWilliam, John
Callaghan, Jim (Midd't'n & P) Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby)
Campbell-Savours, Dale Morton, George
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stol S) Parry, Robert
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D. Penhaligon, David
Cook, Robin F. Radice, Giles
Cryer, Bob Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
Davis, Terry (B'ham, Stechf'd) Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Sheerman, Barry
Dixon, Donald Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Dormand, Jack Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Eadie, Alex Skinner, Dennis
Eastham, Ken Soley, Clive
Edwards, R. (W'hampt'n S E) Spearing, Nigel
Evans, John (Newton) Straw, Jack
Ford, Ben Urwin, Rt Hon Tom
Foster, Derek Welsh, Michael
Golding, John Whitehead, Phillip
Hardy, Peter Young, David (Bolton E)
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter
Haynes, Frank Tellers for the Ayes:
Hooley, Frank Mr. Lawrence Cunliffe and
Howell, Rt Hon D. Mr. Allen McKay.
McCartney, Hugh
Alexander Richard Brinton, Tim
Aspinwall, Jack Brittan, Rt. Hon. Leon
Atkinson, David (B'm'th,E) Brooke, Hon Peter
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Bruce-Gardyne, John
Banks, Robert Bryan, Sir Paul
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Butcher, John
Bendall, Vivian Cadbury, Jocelyn
Bennett, Sir Frederic (T'bay) Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Benyon, Thomas (A'don) Channon, Rt. Hon. Paul
Berry, Hon Anthony Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n)
Bevan, David Gilroy Cockeram, Eric
Biffen, Rt Hon John Cope, John
Blackburn, John Crouch, David
Blaker, Peter Dorrell, Stephen
Bottomley, Peter (W'wich W) Dover, Denshore
Bowden, Andrew Eyre, Reginald
Bright, Graham Faith, Mrs Sheila
Fenner, Mrs Peggy Osborn, John
Forman, Nigel Page, Richard (SW Herts)
Fox, Marcus Parris, Matthew
Fraser, Peter (South Angus) Patten, John (Oxford)
Garel-Jones, Tristan Porter, Barry
Goodlad, Alastair Price, Sir David (Eastleigh)
Gorst, John Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal)
Griffiths, Peter Portsm'th N) Rhodes James, Robert
Gummer, John Selwyn Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Hamilton, Hon A. Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Hawksley, Warren Rossi, Hugh
Heddle, John Rumbold, Mrs A. C. R.
Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm) Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Hordern, Peter Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Hunt, David (Wirral) Silvester, Fred
Jessel, Toby Smith, Dudley
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Lang, Ian Speller, Tony
Lester, Jim (Beeston) Squire, Robin
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Stanley, John
Loveridge, John Stevens, Martin
Lyell, Nicholas Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
MacGregor, John Stradling Thomas, J.
MacKay, John (Argyll) Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Major, John Thompson, Donald
Marland, Paul van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Maude, Rt Hon Sir Angus Waddington, David
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Wakeham, John
Mayhew, Patrick Waldegrave, Hon William
Mellor, David Waller, Gary
Mills, lain (Meriden) Warren, Kenneth
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Watson, John
Moate, Roger Wells, Bowen
Moore, John Wells, John (Maidstone)
Murphy, Christopher Wickenden, Keith
Myles, David Wolfson, Mark
Needham, Richard
Nelson, Anthony Tellers for the Noes:
Newton, Tony Mr. Carol Mather and
Normanton, Tom Mr. Robert Boscawen.

Question accordingly negatived.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

I beg to move amendment No. 6, in page 155, line 29, at end insert— '6A. In subsection (2) of section 21 of the 1981 Act (duration of licences) at the end of paragraph (b) there shall be added the words "or (c) a quarter-year licence for any period of three months beginning on 1st January, 1st April, 1st July or 1st October.".'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this it will be convenient to take the following:

Government amendments Nos. 10 and 12.

Amendment No. 13, in page 157, line 12, at end insert— '14. The duty on whole-year licences may be paid in four equal instalments at the election of the person liable for the duty, and the Treasury shall by regulation prescribe the dates and any other conditions on which the quarterly payments shall be paid.'. Government amendments Nos. 14 to 16.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

The purpose of the amendments is to fulfil an undertaking that I gave in Committee, although not precisely in the form in which I gave it, for reasons that I shall explain. We are taking with this group of amendments amendment No. 13, in the name of the right hon. Member for Stepney and Poplar (Mr. Shore), and I shall comment on it at the same time.

We are dealing with gaming duties on one-arm bandits. As the House will be aware, in the Budget Statement my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed increases—in some instances substantial increases—in the rate of duty on so-called amusement with prizes machines and jackpot machines. The case made to me in Committee by my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow) and others was that when we had significantly increased the level of duty on those machines it would be desirable for an opportunity to be created for licensees to take out a quarterly licence instead of an annual or six-monthly licence. I told the Committee that, unfortunately, I did not think that we could accept that suggestion, because of the staffing costs involved. I was advised that it would take an additional 50 employees of Customs and Excise to cater for quarterly licences.

At the same time I undertook, between Committee and Report, to look at the suggestion made by the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) and my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, South (Sir W. Clark) that, instead of going for quarterly licences, we should enable people who took out an annual licence to pay quarterly instalments. We have looked carefully at that proposal. That is the proposal that the right hon. Member for Stepney and Poplar puts forward in amendment No. 13. Therefore, it might be for the convenience of the House if I said a word about that at the same time.

Having looked at that proposition carefully, we have come to the conclusion that there are substantial difficulties in accepting it. They relate to the nature of the clubs where there is liable to be a regular turnover of officers at short intervals. That would create substantial problems for the Customs and Excise in chasing up licence payments due during the year. If we were to change to quarterly payments for an annual licence, in any case where payments were not received the Customs and Excise would be under an obligation to take proceedings against the club or pub which was still running such a machine, because it would be running it against the law. That, in turn, would create considerable complications.

3.15 am

To change to quarterly payments for an annual licence fee would, on our calculation, reduce the receipts from the duty in 1982–83 by between £15 million and £20 million. That is a loss of revenue that we are not prepared to accept in the current financial year. Therefore, we came to the conclusion that we could not accept the proposition.

However, I was advised by the Customs and Excise that on close inspection it felt that it could agree with the proposition put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North regarding quarterly licences. Bearing in mind that there would be a disproportionate charge, as suggested by my hon. Friend, for taking out a quarterly licence, that would obviously diminish the numbers wishing to take out quarterly licences.

Mr. Teddy Taylor

Is the Minister aware that in seaside towns, such as Southend, where we already take advantage of the six-monthly licence, we have a procedure whereby we get an extra month at either end? If he moved to quarterly licences, would that privilege, which is greatly welcomed in the seaside towns, be continued?

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

I am glad that my hon. Friend raised that point. We thought that the amendment originally tabled in Committee by my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North did not go quite far enough, because it did not cover seaside licensees who, as my hon. Friend the Member for Southend, East (Mr. Taylor) said, under the present six-monthly arrangements, get an extra month gratis at either end. In our amendments we shall ensure that the seaside licensee who takes out a three-month licence will get an extra month at the beginning or at the end, according to when the licence is taken out, so that provision is entirely protected.

I hope that my remarks go some way to meet some of the anxieties that were expressed in Committee. On that basis, I hope that the amendments will commend themselves to the House.

Mr. Straw

In Committee the Economic Secretary put up a very spirited rearguard action against the assault of his hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow) when we discussed the idea of quarterly licences. Therefore, it was with surprise and pleasure that we listened tonight to the Minister's announcement that, on reconsideration of the proposal, he has decided to look again at the administrative complications and to propose to the House that we should accept the change.

The proposal goes some way towards meeting the difficulties and objections that were raised to paying the substantially increased licence fees. The quarterly licence will help clubs, such as tennis clubs, which are open for only part of the year. It will also help clubs that eke out a living and can find the cash only for quarterly licences. However, it will not save the working men's clubs, which are open all year, and must now find licence fees, of between £300 and £750. Nor will it help firms, such as AFM Leisure Ltd in my constituency—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"]—I explained my interest in this matter in Committee. I have no disclosable shareholding in AMF Leisure Ltd, nor in any other company in Blackburn or elsewhere. However, I am worried about a firm in Blackburn that has provided employment for some people and is worried about future employment prospects. The firm had to find £360,000 on 1 October to pay for the 1,200 licences for which it was responsible. We proposed quarterly licences to deal with those problems. We proposed licences that would not carry an additional premium because they were paid quarterly instead of annually, thus resulting in a loss of revenue.

Mr. Joseph Dean (Leeds, West)

My hon. Friend must be aware, as are most hon. Members who have working men's clubs in their constituencies, that many of them are threatened with closure because of increased costs. Will not any additional burden placed on them by the Government hasten the closure of many good clubs that should stay open?

Mr. Straw

I share my hon. Friend's anxiety. When we discussed this matter in Committee, there was great scepticism about the suggested take from the increased licence fees, because there is much evidence to suggest that pubs and clubs with two machines will downgrade to one, thus resulting in loss of revenue and some clubs having to close.

The reason why quarterly licences will not help clubs and pubs which wish to hold licences for a whole year is that it is more expensive, even allowing for the fact that a club paying a quarterly licence must borrow £90 each quarter, whereas a club that purchases an annual licence must borrow £300. That is why quarterly licences cost 20 per cent. more than annual licences. If we assume that a club borrows £300 to pay for a licence and repays it in equal instalments, the interest charge will be £24.38. If the club borrows £90 and pays it back over three months, the interest charge will be £9, but to that is added the £60 higher licence fee. The additional cost of purchasing four licences during the year as opposed to one at the beginning of the year is £45.62, assuming similar interest rates.

We welcome the proposals that the Economic Secretary has announced. They go some way to meet the anxieties expressed in Committee. I regret, however, that they do not help to meet the serious cash flow problems that clubs, pubs and hirers of these machines face. It is with regret that I find the Government unable to accept amendment No. 13.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

I accept that the quarterly licence provision that we offer is not as attractive to the club or pub that operates machines all the year round as the suggested quarterly payment of the annual licence fee would have been. Unfortunately, for the reasons I have explained, we cannot accept that proposition enshrined in amendment No. 13.

Mr. John Gorst (Hendon, North)

I have an interest to declare as an adviser to this industry. Does not the manner in which my hon. Friend has made this change show that this is an iniquitous duty and tax that is too expensive to collect?

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

The answer is "No". If that was the case, I would agree that we should abandon the tax. I am not saying that it is not relatively expensive to collect. It is. However, it is still a substantial revenue earner and a provider of revenue than the Government cannot at this time forgo.

The availability of quarterly licences will be of some assistance to those clubs and pubs, even those operating all the year round, which perhaps face the greatest difficulty on meeting the inccreased licence fee for an annual licence. I accept that this does not give the concession sought by the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) in amendment No. 13. That amendment cannot be accepted for revenue and other reasons. I hope that, against this background, the House will feel that the amendments I have put forward go some way to meet the anxieties of the interested bodies.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Cook

I beg to move amendment No. 7, in page 155, line 47, leave out '£300' and insert '£200'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this it will be convenient to take the following amendments: No. 8, in page 156, line 5, leave out '£300' and insert '£250'.

No. 9, in page 156, line 6, leave out '£750' and insert '£500'

No. 11, in page 156, line 6, at end insert—

Premises registered under part III of the Gaming Act 1968
Description of machines authorised by the licensee Duty on whole-year licence
Chargeable at the lower rate. £200 per machine.
Chargeable at the higher rate. £400 per machine.
Mr. Cook

We turn now to a group of amendments upon which the tedium was broken in Committee by the drama of a tied vote. I pay tribute to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Beaumont-Dark) for having the courage of his convictions on that occasion. The tied vote also depended upon the abstention of the hon. Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow), who is unfortunately unable to be present tonight. I understand that he has been despatched to the Middle East where his talents for diplomacy and subtlety will no doubt be stretched to the full.

Nevertheless, the Opposition felt it right that the whole House should have the opportunity to condescend on amendments that plainly had resulted in divided counsel across party and Committee. I welcome the fact that the House should be so full of hon. Members interested in the matter. I welcome especially to our deliberations my right hon. Friend the Opposition Chief Whip who has, I understand, a considerable constituency interest in this matter. The debate raises matters of considerable concern both to the industry and the clubs that hire the jackpot machines.

Nowhere can be found a more stark contrast between the effrontery of the Government in running an election campaign on a promise to cut taxation and the reality of their record since obtaining office on that fraudulent premise in remorselessly pushing up taxation.

In 1980, the Government restructured the duty on gaming machines and in 1981 they increased the rate of duty by 50 per cent. following the failure to obtain petrol duty rises. They followed that second successive increase in gaming duty by issuing a paper on ad valorem duty which resulted in a number of statements which the Economic Secretary declined to publish on the ground that the evidence contained comments that were clearly not intended for publication. One can only assume that some of the clubs that submitted evidence to the review, having already been faced with two increases, and faced with the proposal for a much more substantial increase, submitted comments that were clearly not fit for publication.

3.30 am

Nevertheless, despite that poor response, we are now faced with a third set of increases in gaming machine duty in three years. If these increases are approved, they will result in more than a doubling of the present rate of duties on the gaming machines, for which there can be no possible justification either in justice to the clubs or to the industry, and which is based on any reasonable assessment of what this type of activity would bear by way of taxation.

As the Tories ran the last election campaign on the basis that the good people of Britain were groaning under the onerous taxation fastened upon them by the iniquitous Labour Government, it is perhaps relevant to contrast the record of the Labour Government in this matter with that of the present Government. If we do so, we find that only once did the Labour Government alter gaming machine duty. They did so in 1975, when they reduced the duty to make a compensating allowance for the increase in VAT which flowed from a decision of a previous Conservative Government. Nowhere can we see clearer contrast between what happened under the previous Labour Government and the falsity of the policies of the Tory Party and the reality of its record in office.

Mr. Gorst

While the hon. Gentleman is going into records, perhaps I can remind him that a Labour Government first introduced the duty.

Mr. Cook

I am sure that the House is obliged to the hon. Gentleman for putting the record straight. He will, however, concede that no Labour Government, or, to be fair, any previous Government, even a Tory one, would even dream of introducing the levels being proposed by the Government. I was intrigued to learn that the hon. Member for Hendon, North (Mr. Gorst) purports to be a consultant to the industry. We shall divide on the amendments and I hope that the hon. Gentleman, as a consultant, will join us in the Lobby to defend the industry from the swingeing increases proposed by his Government.

Let me point out to the hon. Gentleman the exact figures. When his Government came to power, the highest rate of charging on amusement and prize machines in pubs was £100. If this clause goes through unamended, the highest rate of duty will be £300—a threefold increase in three years. The highest rate for jackpot machines when his Government came to power was £200. If this new clause goes through unamended, the highest rate will be £750. If the clause goes through unamended and supported by the hon. Gentleman, the industry will be well advised to look for another consultant because, plainly, his efforts to persuade his right hon. and hon. Friends on the Treasury Bench in the past three years has not met with marked success. Who will bear the burden of these swingeing increases? Primarily it will be the clubs. They are not mainly gaming clubs. Only 5,000 jackpot machines are in gaming clubs or bingo clubs. However, 37,000 jackpot machines are in members' clubs.

Those members' clubs fall mainly into two categories. First, there are the working men's clubs, which provide an important social function. They are often the only social facility in a small local community. They frequently offer a provision which otherwise would have to be made by local authorities by way of a community centre or another more expensive way of meeting the community provision. Secondly, there are the sports clubs. They sustain a form of sport which should have the wholehearted support of every hon. Member. They frequently receive a grant from the Sports Council to carry out that provision. We are now proposing to make it more difficult for them, through their own efforts and revenue, to support that sports undertaking by taxing the revenue that they seek to raise to support their sports activity.

The amendments that we propose provide for a reasonable increase—indeed, they provide for a substantial increase. We do not deny that the turnover involved is within the scope of duty and it is one which could possibly bear a larger increase, bearing in mind this Government's urgent need for revenue. We accept that the Government, having created a recession, have to pay for it. We do not stand in the way of a reasonable requirement for additional revenue. However, the Bill proposes an increase which would more than double the present rates of duty which themselves were increased by 50 per cent. only last year. In our opinion, such an increase is too much. If the Government need that revenue, they should look again at some of the other clauses in the Bill—possibly those on capital transfer tax, or possibly the clauses on the higher rate bands, where there have been reductions instead of increases in taxation.

If the Government were to persist in increases on the scale proposed, they would be imposing a duty which was vindictive, because the clubs and pubs that have the machines would be singled out for such a savage increase, unfair, because the burden would fall most heavily on the smallest clubs with the lowest turnover at the jackpots, and perverse, because it would make it more difficult for local communities, out of their own resources, to sustain important social facilities.

For all those reasons, if the Economic Secretary persists with the proposed levels of duty which we find offensive, we shall vote to reduce them.

Mr. Golding

My right hon. Friend the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Harrison) is up to his old tricks in trying to intimidate me into brevity, because the hour is late. However, I want to put the point of view of the clubs.

I declare an interest. I am a member of Parksite and Elmer End working men's clubs in my constituency, and I visit many others. Since the general election, I have noticed that they are facing increasing difficulties. The difficulties pile up as family incomes in North Staffordshire crumble. The House does not full appreciate the way in which the incomes of working-class families have been affected by the recession in industrial areas such as mine. Apart from massive redundancies—in North Staffordshire, in pottery alone, the redundancy figures are 30,000 to 40,000—loss of overtime working has had a big impact. We are faced with short-time working. Moreover, wages have not kept up with increases in the cost of living. As a result, family incomes have slumped, and that slump has had a grave effect on small businesses in the locality, and a devasting effect on some of the working men's clubs.

The clubs are vital. They provide family entertainment for which their members pay. That cannot be said of people who attend the ballet, opera and classical concerts, or who support the arts in general because they are subsidised by the taxpayer. The incomes of working people who support the clubs have been affected badly by the recession.

Clubs provide more than entertainment. In my area they are philanthropic organisations, helping to care for old, disabled and young people. I cannot over-emphasise the contribution that the clubs make to the community. How do the clubs finance their good work? Annual subscriptions are small, so they are financed by gambling—a form of private taxation. They are financed by bingo, raffles and, most important, one-armed bandits. Clubs are dependent on the levy on gambling. I oppose any increase in that duty because of the severe financial difficulties experienced by the clubs.

Mr. Joseph Dean

Is my hon. Friend aware that without the income from gambling machines, bingo and raffles, 90 per cent. of working men's clubs would close their doors tomorrow because they can no longer exist on bar takings?

Mr. Golding

I agree. If the State increases taxation, clubs will be in even greater difficulty. That would be a great shame. Before taking such a decision, the Government should study the financial structure of the clubs and make an assessment of their social value. If they did that they would not impose an additional burden.

Mr. John Evans (Newton)

I support the amendments. I declare an interest. I am the newly elected political secretary of the National Union of Labour and Socialist Clubs. For 30 years I have been a member of the Club and Institute Union, so I have a broad experience of working men's and political clubs.

The opposition to the proposed increase in duty comes not only from working men's and Labour clubs but from Conservative clubs, the members of which are disturbed about the proposed increase in duty on gaming machines. I reinforce the comments of my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Golding) about the appalling difficulties that many working men's clubs face now. Conservative Members may never enter a working men's club so may I impress upon them the appalling difficulties that such clubs are facing? Many clubs are abandoning the afternoon sessions. Some are abandoning certain evening sessions and one or two are even talking of closing altogether. The Royal British Legion Club at Caddishead in my constituency, which used to be the most prosperous club in the community and has contributed to every charity that the community has run over the past 40 to 50 years, is now facing serious financial difficulty. It has appealed to the entire community to turn to its assistance. That is a measure of the many problems that working men's clubs and political clubs are now facing.

3.45 am

As my hon. Friend said, as the recession bites ever deeper, particularly in the North of England where the great strength of the working men's club movement exists, it is self-evident that the clubs are bound to get into great difficulties. It is right that we should consider, even at 3.45 am, the activities that working men's clubs contribute to the towns, villages and societies of our areas.

My hon. Friend mentioned many of the facilities that are offered such as the community, bingo and concert facilities that are greatly appreciated. The vast majority of clubs also offer considerable facilities for young people. These are needed even more now with so many unemployed youngsters. Most clubs these days are throwing their doors open in the early evening and afternoons to make their sports rooms and billiard tables available for youngsters to have something to do during the day. Staff have to be employed to look after the youngsters in the club and they have to be paid. The profits that accrue to the club from the one-armed bandits are necessary to finance such facilities.

Any club will confirm that its income has reduced considerably in the past one to two years. If the number of members of and visitors to the clubs decline, or go in later in the evening, the club's income from one-armed bandits is reduced and the amount of money that is available to finance the tremendous social activities of such clubs is also reduced. To increase the duty on one-armed bandits at the same time only forces more and more clubs nearer the point of bankruptcy. If clubs are forced into bankruptcy it means that a way of life in many villages and small towns, particularly in the North of England, will pass away.

It is essential that the Minister thinks again about what he is doing. I assure him that I intend to make it clear to the many thousands of club members in my constituency what the Tory Government have done in the past and intend to do in future to bring their clubs nearer to the point of closure. There is little love for the Tory Government in the vast majority of working men's clubs in my constituency at present. I assure the Minister that I intend to add to the feeling that already exists against his Government. I also intend to ensure that the Conservative clubs in my constituency are well aware of what the Treasury is up to.

Mr. Joseph Dean

I rise briefly to support my hon. Friend the Member for Newton (Mr. Evans). Before becoming a Member of the House I was the secretary of a large club. I had 20 years' experience. Over the years a dramatic change has taken place in the functions of such clubs and the way in which they are run. It was interesting to hear the Minister refer to the difficulties that the staff of the Inland Revenue would experience. However, successive Governments enact legislation without showing any concern for the club officials who have to carry it out.

During my time secretaries and treasurers of working men's clubs became some of the finest unpaid tax collectors for the Treasury. Without any sympathy, more demands were made on their time and matters became more complicated, although no thanks were given. Often, there were penal sanctions if they were not carried out to the letter. As both I and my hon. Friend the Member for Newton have said, the whole basis of financing such clubs has changed. In the 1950s clubs could survive on their bar sales. However, that is no longer true. Even the breweries are screaming. People are not buying as much beer as previously. In their avaricious way, the breweries put 4p, 5p and even 10p on a pint of beer and still expected people to pay it during the biggest slump for 50 years.

In addition, clubs are finding it increasingly difficult to meet the rate increases imposed by both Labour and Conservative-controlled authorities. In my constituency, clubs with household names and a tremendous history have closed in the past few weeks. They were the social centres for the area, catering for everyone from the young to the old. The increased financial burdens will hit the extras provided by the clubs. I refer to parties for the old at Christmas and trips for the kiddies.

The Government should consider the issue more sympathetically before embarking on such an exercise. If the clubs go out of existence, it will be to the detriment of their communities, and they will never be replaced.

Mr. Allen McKay (Penistone)

I wish to make a brief speech in support of my hon. Friends. In my constituency, the working men's clubs are very important. Although 160 square miles of the constituency are very rural, the constituency also has steel, coal and engineering. Local life centres round the working men's clubs, and has done for generations.

In my area, when a lad was 18 he automatically became a member of the club. He went to see the chairman of the committee and the committee, who told him to be a good lad, not to drink and to keep out of the games room until he was about 21. In the past week one club in my area has had to close with considerable debts. It just could not survive on the bar takings, or even on its one-armed bandit. As the number of unemployed has increased, the money that used to be spent on that is no longer available. Those clubs are the very essence of that society. They create a focal point.

The clubs have a tremendous liaison with the schools in their areas. Some of my local schools have had their first football strips from the working mens' clubs. The schools have worked in return to help the clubs. In most areas the club has the biggest hall in the village. There is probably no other place that will hold so many people. Weddings, funerals, dancing classes, fruit and vegetable shows and flower shows are held in the clubs. Village life is centred on the club. The clubs openly obtain their money from gaming machines.

The clubs are worried about this measure. Secretaries and committees work long hours over many years. Club secretaries do not change as often as the Economic Secretary believes. Once someone becomes a club secretary he can hold that position for 25 or 30 years. They are becoming extremely concerned about club finances. Beer, spirits, cigarettes and everything else the clubs sell has risen in price. Although they make a modest profit from such sales, it cannot sustain the life of the club. Beer sales are in fact dropping and I am sure that the breweries are becoming worried.

I plead with the Government to think seriously about what they are doing. Village life is being ruined by the Government. There are fewer transport facilities and people depend on the clubs for entertainment because the Government have taken the buses away. Everything that the Governmet do hits the people of my constituency. I ask the Government to think again and to withdraw this proposal.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

We have had a useful debate about these amendments. I fully understand the strength of feeling that has been expresed. The four amendments taken together—as they presumably would be—would involve a general lowering of the duty rates proposed by the Chancellor in his Budget speech. They would absolve the so-called registered clubs—the non-profit-making clubs—from any increase in duty. The four amendments taken together would involve the loss of two-thirds of the additional £20 million a year that the Chancellor seeks to obtain from these Budget proposals. These amendments are not attractive to the Government because of the loss of revenue. That is not the only problem that they raise. Taken together, the amendments would upset the balance betweeen the taxation of amusement-with-prizes machines and the jackpot machines, and between the 5p and 10p machines in each category. The average annual takings of a 10p amusement-with-prizes machine are estimated to be as at least £3,000. The average annual takings of a jackpot machine are estimated to be at least £7,500. The Budget proposals fixed the rate of duty on those machines at 10 per cent. of the average takings. That was the basis for those proposals. At the same time, the rates for 5p machines were set at 40 per cent. of those for the corresponding 10p machines. This was designed to help seaside arcades and others and to provide an opportunity for small pubs and clubs currently using 10p machines to trade down.

4 am

I readily accept, as I conceded to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Beaumont-Dark) in Committee, that there is a substantial difference between the take of some of the smaller clubs, arcades and pubs and that of the large social clubs, but the only duty structure that would reflect that distinction would be an ad valorem system. In the review that we undertook before the Budget, that was the one system that all the clubs and pubs unanimously rejected. Once that is ruled out, however, disparities of this kind are to some extent inevitable.

The effect of the amendments would be to introduce a significant differentiation between the pubs and the clubs. I do not dispute the fact that the clubs are non-profit-making operations and use the proceeds from gaming machines and other forms of income for various community activities, but all the evidence that we received suggests that the yield from the gaming machine is just as important to the pub, which also plays an important part in community life. If the amendments were accepted, all hell would be let loose from the pubs, which would regard themselves as being grotesquely mistreated and discriminated against.

Mr. Allen McKay

The obvious solution is to make the pubs exactly like the clubs and give them jackpot machines, but the Home Secretary will not agree to that.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

The hon. Gentleman will have to pursue that with the Home Office. I cannot answer for it now or at any other time and I should be in trouble if I did.

Mr. Joseph Dean

Is the Minister saying that gaming machines in pubs should be used to supplement the profits of the breweries that run the pubs?

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Our evidence shows that for some of the smaller pubs the income from the gaming machines is an important factor in their continuing viability. I assure the House that if the amendments were accepted the situation would be regarded as grossly unfair by the pubs.

Mr. Michael Cocks (Bristol, South)

The Minister is defending the breweries.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

It would be regarded as unfair not only by the breweries but by those who use the pubs.

Mr. Cook

I invite the Economic Secretary to bend his mind to amendments Nos. 7, 8 and 9. If he will accept those amendments, which were pressed to Divisions in Committee, we should be happy to drop amendment No. 11.

Amendment No. 7, referring to the higher rate of duty on machines in pubs, makes a reduction of one-third, from £300 to £200. In Amendment No. 9, referring to the higher rate of duty on machines in clubs, the reduction is from £750 to £500. Again, that is exactly one-third. The two amendments taken together thus propose identical reductions for machines in pubs and in clubs, so they would in no way upset the arithmetical relationship between them created by the Government's own tables.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

I agree that the main discrimination would emerge from amendment No. 11. I have already explained to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Central (Mr. Cook) that that is not the only objection to the amendments. I have made that clear. There is also the revenue that we are not prepared to forgo and the structure of the duty.

I wish to add a final point on the differentiation between the clubs and the pubs. We understand the contribution that the clubs can make, as a result of the use to which they put their revenues, to charitable purposes in their communities. However, it has never been a concept of our taxation system that the clubs should not be expected to pay indirect taxes. There is no good reason for introducing a differentiation along these lines, and certainly not along the lines suggested by amendment No. 11. Therefore I must tell the House that, while I entirely understand the strength of feeling that the issue arouses, I cannot accept the amendments.

Amendment negatived.

Amendment proposed: No. 8, in page 156, line 5, leave out '£300' and insert '£250'.—[Mr. Shore.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 33, Noes 103.

Division No. 267] [4.10 am
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Hooley, Frank
Campbell-Savours, Dale McCartney, Hugh
Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stol S) McWilliam, John
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D. Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby)
Cook, Robin F. Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)
Cryer, Bob Sheerman, Barry
Cunliffe, Lawrence Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Davis, Terry (B'ham, Stechf'd) Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Skinner, Dennis
Dixon, Donald Soley, Clive
Dormand, Jack Spearing, Nigel
Eadie, Alex Straw, Jack
Edwards, R. (W'hampt'n S E) Urwin, Rt Hon Tom
Evans, John (Newton) Welsh, Michael
Foster, Derek
Golding, John Tellers for the Ayes:
Hardy, Peter Mr. Allen McKay and
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Mr. George Morton.
Haynes, Frank
Alexander, Richard Gummer, John Selwyn
Aspinwall, Jack Hamilton, Hon A.
Atkinson, David (B'm'th,E) Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Hawksley, Warren
Banks, Robert Heddle, John
Bennett, Sir Frederic (T'bay) Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)
Benyon, Thomas (A'don) Hordern, Peter
Berry, Hon Anthony Hunt, David (Wirral)
Bevan, David Gilroy Jessel, Toby
Biffen, Rt Hon John Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Blackburn, John Lang, Ian
Blaker, Peter Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Bottomley, Peter (W'wich W) Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Bowden, Andrew Loveridge, John
Bright, Graham Lyell, Nicholas
Brinton, Tim MacGregor, John
Brittan, Rt. Hon. Leon Major, John
Bruce-Gardyne, John Marland, Paul
Butcher, John Mather, Carol
Cadbury, Jocelyn Maude, Rt Hon Sir Angus
Carlisle, John (Luton West) Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Mayhew, Patrick
Channon, Rt. Hon. Paul Mellor, David
Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n) Mills, Iain (Meriden)
Cockeram, Eric Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Cope, John Moate, Roger
Crouch, David Moore, John
Dorrell, Stephen Murphy, Christopher
Dover, Denshore Myles, David
Eyre, Reginald Needham, Richard
Faith, Mrs Sheila Nelson, Anthony
Fenner, Mrs Peggy Newton, Tony
Forman, Nigel Normanton, Tom
Garel-Jones, Tristan Osborn, John
Goodlad, Alastair Page, Richard (SW Herts)
Griffiths, Peter Portsm'th N) Parris, Matthew
Patten, John (Oxford) Stradling Thomas, J.
Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal) Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Rhodes James, Robert Thompson, Donald
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Ridley, Hon Nicholas Waddington, David
Ridsdale, Sir Julian Wakeham, John
Rossi, Hugh Waldegrave, Hon William
Rumbold, Mrs A. C. R. Waller, Gary
Sainsbury, Hon Timothy Warren, Kenneth
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford) Watson, John
Silvester, Fred Wells, Bowen
Smith, Dudley Wells, John (Maidstone)
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield) Wickenden, Keith
Speller, Tony
Squire, Robin Tellers for the Noes:
Stanley, John Mr. Robert Boscawen and
Stevens, Martin Mr. Peter Brooke.
Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendments made: No. 10, in page 156, line 6, at end insert— '9A. In subsection (2) of section 23 (rate of duty for half-year licence) after the word "eleven-twentieths" there shall be inserted the words", and on a quarter-year licence six-twentieths,".'.

No. 12, in page 157, line 7, at end insert— '12A. In paragraph 4 of Schedule 4 to the 1981 Act (licences not required for March or October in certain cases) for the words from "during March or October" to the end there shall be substituted the words "which have local authority approval under the Gambling Acts—

  1. (a) during March of any year if the provision of the machine on the premises during April of that year has been authorised by a half-year licence or a quarter-year licence;
  2. (b) during October of any year if the provision of the machine on the premises during September of that year has been authorised by a half-year licence or a quarter-year licence.".
12B. At the end of sub-paragraph (3) of paragraph 7 of Schedule 4 to the 1981 Act (expiry of licences) there shall be added the words "and a quarter-year licence shall expire at the end of 31st March, 30th June, 30th September or 31st December, as the case may be, after the date on which it is expressed to take effect.".'.

No. 14, in page 157, line 13, at end insert— '13A. At the end of subsection (3) of section 43 of the 1972 Act (duration of licences) there shall be added the words "or a quarter-year licence for any period of three months beginning on 1st January, 1st April, 1st July or 1st October.".'.

No. 15, in page 157, line 31, at end insert— '(3A) In subsection (5) of that section (rate of duty for half-year licences) after the words "eleven-twentieths" there shall be inserted the words", and on a quarter-year licence six-twentieths,".'.

No. 16, in page 158, line 10, at end insert— '16A. At the end of sub-paragraph (2) of paragraph 9 of Schedule 3 to the 1972 Act (expiry of licences) there shall be added the words "and a quarter-year licence shall expire at the end of 31st March, 30th June, 30th September or 31st December, as the case may be, after the date on which it is expressed to take effect.".'.—[Mr. Bruce-Gardyne.]

Forward to