HC Deb 27 June 1985 vol 81 cc1069-70
13. Dr. Mawhinney

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many representations he has received from professional association football clubs about the betting tax levy.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Ian Stewart)

Representations have been received from the Football League and about two dozen clubs.

Dr. Mawhinney

Will my hon. Friend confirm that it remains his policy to take a sympathetic attitude towards third and fourth division football clubs faced with large bills for safety and security measures if it becomes necessary for them to appeal to him for help?

Mr. Stewart

I note what my hon. Friend says and compliment him on the interest that he is taking in those clubs. I am sure that it would be best, as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has said, to conduct a thorough inquiry into the whole question before deciding what is needed.

Mr. Ashton

Why is it that, when it comes to law and order on the picket lines, the Government will pick up a bill of £900 million for policing during the miners' strike, yet when it comes to law and order at football matches and providing safety at football ground, they rip off over £200 million from the betting tax and give nothing back? Why will the Government not set up a betting levy board for football as has been done for horse racing?

Mr. Stewart

The hon. Gentleman may have overlooked the fact that, for racing, both betting duty and levy apply.