§ Mr. Ian Stewart
The number of premium bonds purchased in 1985–86 was approximately 2¼ million, and total prize money in that year was £135 million. I will arrange for the figures for earlier years to be published in the Official Report.
§ Mr. Stewart
I do not accept what my hon. Friend says about premium bonds being unattractive or unsuccessful. Whether they are old hat is a matter of judgment. They have been going for 30 years, during which time they have accumulated very large sums of money—the current figure is about £1.8 billion—and about 24 million of our fellow citizens hold them. That can hardly be described as an unsuccessful exercise. As to lotteries, we had a debate a few years ago, and there was little support for the idea. What I think has been suggested when that idea has been put forward is that it might have a substantial effect on other forms of betting and gaming, and one cannot necessarily expect it to be a very substantial exercise in this country.
§ Following are the figures:
|Number of Purchases Million||Value of Prizes £ million|