§ [The Third Report from the National Heritage Committee on the National Lottery etc. Bill, HC 389 of Session 1992–93 is relevant.]
§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Madam Speaker
I must tell the House that there is a great deal of interest in this matter and that, therefore, I have had to limit speeches between the hours of 6 pm and 8 pm to 10 minutes. I hope that those hon. Members who are fortunate enough to be called outside those hours will exercise voluntary restraint on the length of their speeches.
I have selected the amendment in the name of the Leader of the Opposition.
§ The Secretary of State for National Heritage (Mr. Peter Brooke)
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
I am delighted to be here today to assist the House in its consideration of the National Lottery etc Bill, which my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary presented on 16 December. My father spoke on the occasion of the introduction of premium bonds more than 35 years ago—an occasion of some controversy when there was some criticism of the Government for introducing a form of state gambling which would rot the moral foundations of our society. Whether or not this has been the outcome is for others to decide. Those loving grandparents who buy premium bonds for their grandchildren may be a little disconcerted to be reminded of the controversy which the bonds created when they were first proposed.
Premium bonds went on to become a runaway success and something of an institution. The Bill before the House today proposes the establishment of a further institution, the first national lottery in the United Kingdom since 1826. That lottery fell into disrepute, chiefly because the main focus had turned from the lottery itself to bets placed on its outcome. We hope that our lottery will be well-regulated. We have sought to make specific provision to prevent the kind of abuse which beset its predecessor.
The Bill's provisions have attracted widespread, popular support in the country, both in the response to the White Paper presented by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker)—out of more than 200 responses there were only 17 objections—and in the reaction since the Bill was published. In fact, one of the most common reactions was, "At last—but why have we alone of all the western countries had to wait this long before being allowed the opportunity to have a lottery which will benefit the people of this country?"
In establishing the national lottery we are, of course, establishing a major new industry. That is clearly a benefit in itself. But this new industry will be operating firmly within the framework of what I might call the vision of the national lottery—an enterprise the primary aim of which is to raise money for activities which will improve the quality of life of the citizens of this country.
In much of the business that we undertake in this House, we must be mindful of wider perspectives. In the case of the national lottery there is a clear European perspective. If we did not introduce such a Bill with such 715 obvious public support as the one before us today, we believe that the general public's desire to play the lottery would still be satisfied—eventually by playing foreign lotteries, whose sole purpose is to improve the quality of life of the citizens of other countries. Those lotteries would continue to be unlawful, but with modern telecommunications it will not be possible to stop people participating. The choice therefore is not between one lottery and none, but between benefit from the lottery in the United Kingdom and benefit abroad. Hon. Members are being asked, therefore, to approve a measure which will ensure that the public thirst to participate in lotteries is harnessed to good effect through enhancing the national life of the United Kingdom.
The national lottery will benefit five broad categories —charities, arts, sport, the heritage, and a new fund established to celebrate the year 2000 and the beginning of the third millennium. These are clearly all areas that involve the achievement of excellence, the opportunity to participate and the extension of choice in leisure and voluntary activity. They add to people's lives and thus the well-being of the nation as a whole.
§ Mr. Tony Banks (Newham, North-West)
What assurances can the Secretary of State give the House that the money from a national lottery, if one is instituted, will not be used to replace central Government funding for a number of the areas that he has designated? If the Government no longer publish their forward plans for funding the arts, how can we ever know whether they have taken the national lottery money into consideration when making a settlement for the arts and other areas?
§ Mr. Brooke
The subject of additionality will obviously interest the House and I shall come to it if the hon. Member will bide with me.
Using the lottery money in that way, we can reinforce a sense of national pride in the citizens of the United Kingdom. We can create new public facilities—in inner cities or in rural areas—which will encourage citizens' involvement in activities that will broaden their outlook and experience.
Hon. Members may be aware of the example being set by Chris Eubank who, by making Moss Side his training base, hopes to lead by example and persuade the young people there that the opportunity to participate in sport offers an alternative to the world of drugs and crime. That is precisely the sort of benefit that the lottery is intended to bring to the nation. Sports facilities in inner cities, better arts facilities, preserving the nation's heritage, allowing wider access to facilities and generating additional wealth through the encouragement of tourism—the lottery will fund all those.
§ Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman (Lancaster)
My right hon. Friend is no doubt aware that the lottery would not only help with other activities in rural areas, but could fling a lifeline to village shops if they were allowed to sell tickets.
§ Mr. Brooke
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that intervention. I shall come to the method of selling tickets.
§ Mr. David Alton (Liverpool, Mossley Hill)
I am grateful to the Secretary of State for giving way; I realise that he has been generous in giving way. He has mentioned the inner cities. He will be aware that in cities such as 716 Glasgow, Liverpool and Cardiff people are concerned about the implications of a lottery for jobs. We are gambling with people's jobs in those areas without any evidence that they will not go out of existence as a result of the introduction of a national lottery. At the minimum, can he assure the House that organisers of the national lottery will not be able to do anything that the pools industry is not allowed to do and that it will have the same opportunities to advertise and to offer the same types of promotion and prizes?
§ Mr. Brooke
I give the hon. Gentleman the same assurance that I gave to the pools promoters when they visited me on 9 December. The Government will listen carefully to the arguments put forward on each of the concessions that they are requesting rather than respond to a blanket request.
§ Mr. Brooke
Knowing the hon. Gentleman's constitu-ency, I think that he wants to address me on the subject of the pools. I shall come to that case in a little while and guarantee that I shall give way then.
The charitable and voluntary sectors are an important part of our national life. They encourage the participation of large numbers of citizens and carry out vital work in all areas of life—whether it be in villages or in inner cities. Those activities are important both in terms of their final outcome and the way in which they involve large numbers of people in a creative and fulfilling way. Those activities will also be funded by the lottery.
Any new proposal naturally raises worries about its impact. In particular, the pools companies have been lobbying all who would listen. Their concerns are reflected in the reasoned amendment tabled by the Leader of the Opposition and the hon. Member for Derby, South (Mrs. Beckett). It would be wrong to view the lottery from the perspective of the pools companies and a pity in that, as I hope to demonstrate, it shows a remarkably narrow viewpoint and fails to address what the national lottery is all about. It is also a pity as it shows a woeful lack of appreciation of the public support for the Bill.
§ Mr. George Howarth
If the case that I think that the Secretary of State is about to try to establish—that the lottery will not affect the pools companies—is to stand up to a credibility test, why does he not publish the GAH group report, commissioned by his Department, so that we may have an objective, independent assessment of the likely impact?
§ Mr. Brooke
The arrival of any new institution in our national life is bound to affect people, and I recognise that the pools industry will be affected by the national lottery. I do not share the pools promoters' view about the scale of that effect. I think that the House is fairly familiar with the GAH report. We commissioned consultants to draw it up and they talked to those around the world who run lotteries. The consultants were given confidential information on condition that it would remain confidential.
§ Mr. Brooke
I shall give way in a moment, but I think that the spirit in which I am making the speech is clear to the House. I should like to spend a little time dealing with pools matters as I believe that it will assist the House.
717 Introducing a new industry has always aroused fears in those who imagine that their livelihoods might be under threat. Change will always engender fear among those who have operated in a stable, unchanging environment for a number of years. It might also encourage those who have been looking for a chance to change the regulatory framework under which they work to achieve long-cherished ambitions. It provides a perfect occasion for the skills of the lobbyist to come to the fore and to divert the attention of the House away from the central objective.
§ Mr. Jon Owen Jones (Cardiff, Central)
Will the Secretary of State comment on the inquiry that Littlewoods commissioned Coopers and Lybrand to carry out? The inquiry found that several thousand jobs would be lost and employees would be retrenched outside Cardiff and Liverpool. In my constituency, 600 jobs are certain to go as a result of the National Lottery etc. Bill.
§ Mr. Brooke
All such assumptions and hypotheses assume that we live in a wholly unchanging world. Since I met the pools promoters on 9 December, they have already made significant changes to their arrangements which postdate the Coopers and Lybrand report.
§ Mr. Thomas Graham (Renfrew, West and Inverclyde)
Is the Secretary of State aware that pools industries in a number of countries have gone to the wall and many jobs have been lost? Pools companies and others who know the industry in detail have estimated that thousands of jobs will go to the wall. Is the Secretary of State also aware that this nation has one of the highest levels of gambling, and there is talk of £2 per head being spent on gambling? Will the Secretary of State include that statistic in his thoughts on poor families?
§ Mr. Brooke
I have seen the observations made about the experiences of other countries. When I have read those accounts—which are all particular to specific countries and situations—it has seemed to me that the pools promoters pay insufficient tribute to their own skill, longevity and the impressive role that they currently play in our national life.
Therefore, it would be a pity were the House to lose sight of the real purpose of today's debate. We are here to debate an opportunity. We are here to debate a measure that will create a new multi-billion pound business that will benefit our national life. We are talking of an enterprise that might create about 1,000 core jobs in its central operation, with many others in associated service industries, which will help to underpin the incomes of thousands of retail businesses throughout the country—as my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster (Dame E. Kellett-Bowman) said—and provide many exciting projects for the construction industry.
§ Mr. Barry Jones (Alyn and Deeside)
The Secretary of State came under strong pressure, as did the Under-Secretary of State, during Question Time when dealing with employment, or the lack of it. In Cardiff, more than 20,000 are out of work. How many are jobless in the Liverpool area?
§ Mr. Brooke
I am familiar with the figure which was helpfully provided by the hon. Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Wareing). As I said during Question 718 Time, the nature of the opportunity for the construction industry that will be afforded by the capital projects—the erection of buildings—is not taken into account in the calculations.
§ Sir Malcolm Thornton (Crosby)
Before we leave the important subject of the impact on employment in a particular area, it is only right to say that reference has already been made to the GAH report. I ask my right hon. Friend to confirm—leaving aside any confidential information which may have appeared in this report—that the conclusions of the report were that, in spite of the advantages which possibly the United Kingdom pools have over their European counterparts, the impact is assessed—this is without any changes—as a reduction in revenues of 17.5 per cent. overall. It is estimated that job losses will amount to 1,100. I am aware of what my right hon. Friend said about the improvement in job prospects arising from the national lottery, but I do not think that the two things are mutually exclusive. Will he confirm that these are the conclusions that came from the report?
§ Mr. Brooke
The quotations from the GAH report, which appeared in The Guardian on 27 November, referred to numbers such as my hon. Friend has quoted. They were obviously a particular quotation from the report. They were, to a degree, quoted out of context in that the figures in the GAH report—in this respect I do not think that I am offending confidentiality since it was the view of the consultants—applied if the organisers of the pools themselves did nothing to respond, which we know they have already done. The focus of the debate should be on the real opportunity which we now have, and which we must now seize, irrespective of party affiliation, to provide maximum benefit to the quality of life. We owe it to our constituents to get this measure right and to give them what they clearly want.
§ Mr. William O'Brien (Normanton)
The Minister has referred to quality of life. Does he realise that there will be injury to the quality of life of many who rely on local charities if no provision is made within the Bill to defend local charities? The scratch card was introduced by local charities, and it seems that it is now to be taken over by the national lottery. There is nothing in the Bill that provides a real safeguard for local charities, which suggests that they will be damaged. Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that the interests of such charities will be safeguarded and that there will be no reduction in the quality of life of those who depend on local charities?
§ Mr. George Howarth
On a point of order, Madam Speaker. A few moments ago the Secretary of State was kind enough to give way to me. I took the opportunity to press him on the report which his Department commissioned from the GAH group. Some moments later the hon. Member for Crosby (Sir M. Thornton) quoted directly from the report. The Secretary of State declined to publish the report when I pressed him earlier. The hon. Member for Crosby, as I understand it, quoted directly from the report, and the Secretary of State then referred to The Guardian but confirmed the points that the hon. Gentleman had made. In the light of your earlier rulings 719 on this point, Madam Speaker, should not the report now be put on the Table? Should not it be made available to right hon. and hon. Members during the debate?
§ Mr. Brooke
Further to that point of order, Madam Speaker. I want the House to be clear about what we are discussing. I have said that we will not publish the GAH report. In particular, I said that in the aftermath of the report in The Guardian on 27 November, which quoted isolated parts. My hon. Friend quoted from The Guardian quotations, and I was responding to that.
§ Mr. D. N. Campbell-Savours (Workington)
Further to that point of order, Madam Speaker. May I ask you to read the Hansard report of the debate because I believe that I heard the Secretary of State confirm that the contents of the report were as published in The Guardian? Furthermore, I believe that I heard him then qualify that document. Would you please check Hansard, Madam Speaker? It would be most unreasonable if the point of order raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Knowsley, North (Mr. Howarth) were to go amiss and if it were not to be studied by the Clerks of the House with a view to the document being placed on the Table of the House.
§ Mr. Wareing
Further to that point of order, Madam Speaker. I heard—and I hope that you did, too—the Secretary of State say that he did not think that he was breaching confidentiality and then quoted a view expressed in the report, not in The Guardian version of the report. Is not there either a convention or a reference in "Erskine May" that provides that when a report is referred to in a debate in the House it must be published or at least placed in the Library?
§ Madam Speaker
On the hon. Gentleman's last point, it must he a direct quote by the Secretary of State. I shall certainly look carefully at Hansard to see precisely what has been said on the matter.
§ Mr. Brooke
I have undertaken to listen to the legitimate concerns of the pools companies and to consider amendments to the Bill as they are tabled. The Bill is designed to take such amendments and I am prepared to be persuaded by arguments of high quality. I have to say that I am yet to be convinced—[Interruption.] The hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) knows me to be a generous and fair-minded man. I am not minded to give way on concessions that hang on the Bill as a flag of convenience.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley (Eltham)
An interesting point is whether the money that is taken in taxation on the pools investment automatically and by definition goes to good causes, because the Government decide how to spend it. Is not there some rough equivalence between the money that goes to good causes through the taxation of pools and the money that might otherwise go directly to good causes through the national lottery?
§ Mr. Brooke
It is true that the pools promoters have argued that taxation is money that goes to good causes. I am not sure whether my hon. Friend is endorsing that. The comparison is not absolutely precise.
The pools companies refer most often to employment and have managed to worry their employees, even to the extent of asking—
§ Mr. William O'Brien
On a point of order, Madam Speaker. The Secretary of State was about to answer points that I raised in an intervention when he was interrupted by points of order. Is the right hon. Gentleman now able to answer my points?
§ Madam Speaker
It is not very often that I get so many genuine points of order. I can well understand that sometimes we get a little confused in the debate across the Floor. I am sure that the Secretary of State has it in mind to answer the hon. Gentleman's points.
§ Mr. Brooke
I apologise to you, Madam Speaker, and to the hon. Gentleman for the fact that, as a consequence of the points of order, I did not immediately respond to the hon. Gentleman's points.
§ Mr. Brooke
Yes, genuine points. As the hon. Gentleman knows from his exchange with my hon. Friend earlier today, there are provisions in the Bill to protect the position of small lotteries. If he chooses to enlarge his remarks in his speech later in the debate, I am sure that my hon. Friend will respond further.
§ Mr. John Greenway (Ryedale)
Many right hon. and hon. Members who have misgivings about the Bill will be greatly encouraged by my right hon. Friend's remark that the Government will listen carefully to reasoned amendments. Will my right hon. Friend share with us his thoughts about clause 12 and the proposed regulations, which deal with lottery marketing and advertising? While some of us have already suggested that there should be even competition in the marketing of pools, bingo, and the lottery, we are equally gravely concerned that the Government should not go too far down the road—
§ Mr. Brooke
I regret, Madam Speaker, that when a right hon. or hon. Member intervenes I am not readily able to anticipate the length of his intervention.
§ Mr. Brooke
I know that you, Madam Speaker, agree with me that it is most uncharacteristic of my hon. Friend the Member for Ryedale (Mr. Greenway) to misbehave in the way that you, Madam Speaker, thought that he might have done. I will address specifically my hon. Friend's question about clause 12 when I deal with the clauses in general.
The pools companies suggested to their 70,000 part-time collectors that they should write to their Members of Parliament asking for a change in the regulations to allow sales in retail outlets. Employees might reasonably fear, despite the companies' assertion to the contrary, that such a change could itself pose a threat to their jobs in the long run.
721 The pools appear to be a well-managed operation. They have already started to change their rules—which they would not have done if it were not for the prospect of a national lottery. To suggest that they cannot adapt their management or marketing strategy within the existing framework of regulation is to underestimate their considerable resourcefulness, to which I can personally pay tribute.
As the House may know, my Department commissioned a report, to which I have already referred, based on confidential information supplied by lotteries world wide. It examined the key determinants for a successful lottery and also touched on the likely effects on the pools industry. I will not, for the reasons that I gave, publish that report, simply because the information supplied for it was given on the understanding that it would not be published. However, I will refer to certain assertions made by the pools companies on the basis of particular leaks of that research.
The report considered—and here I am going back over ground that I covered in answers to my hon. Friends—that, only on the hypothesis that the pools did nothing to change the management of their operation, their turnover might be affected in such a way that the pools might lose 1,100 jobs in their central operations nationwide. However, we have all seen that the pools are well able to adapt to change, to preserve their own interests.
The report did not take into account either the existing intentions of the pools, with or without the advent of the lottery. Given the pools' tendency to cut their work force in recent years and a drive to increase mechanisation that was in place long before the lottery was suggested, I wonder whether the pools companies themselves would be able to guarantee existing levels of employment if there were no lottery. I am not aware of such an undertaking. In fact, it seems that the pools themselves have been seeking for some time, through voluntary redundancies, to reduce their work force. It might have assisted the House if the pools, in their lobbying, had made clear their own strategies in relation to employment.
§ Mr. Richard Tracey (Surbiton)
My right hon. Friend mentioned the impending mechanisation of parts of the pools' operation, which I understand will lead to the loss of some jobs. Is it not true that, in the 20 years to 1971, pools companies lost 12,000 jobs and that in the 20 years since 1971 they have lost a further 6,000 jobs? With technology, logically they will lose more.
§ Mr. Brooke
I have seen figures similar to those quoted by my hon. Friend, though they were not necessarily precisely the same. Nevertheless, my hon. Friend's point is well taken.
Some right hon. and hon. Members may find the argument that the pools do not have a level playing field quite seductive. I counter that by reminding the House that we are talking about adjacent playing fields for different games rather than the same field. If the pools were, as it were, playing the same game on the same field, perhaps the odds would be tipped in their favour. They have loyal players and established distribution networks; their position is strong against any newcomer—especially one that, like the lottery, will have to start from scratch and appeal to everyone.
In countries with lotteries, the profile of those who play almost directly matches the profile of the population 722 overall. It goes far wider than the profile of those who spend on other gambling, including the pools. Spending on lotteries is drawn from marginal disposable income. The more successful the lottery, the broader the range of expenditure from which it will attract funds.
Lotteries do not attract the serious gambler; the odds are too long. They attract those who want the chance to win, and to know that the money that they pay will go to good causes. Lotteries are not compulsive or addictive in the way that other games of skill and chance can be: they do not encourage excessive participation. There is no current product in the United Kingdom market place quite like that of the national lottery. That is why I warn hon. Members against looking too closely at what may seem to be existing analogues. Instead, I urge them to look beyond, to what the lottery can achieve for everyone.
§ Mr. Frank Field (Birkenhead)
In what way would the operation of the pools have to change, to place them on the same level playing field rather than an adjacent one?
§ Mr. Brooke
I was talking about the concessions that the pools operators were seeking, because they wanted exactly the same rules as would apply to the national lottery. During my discussions with the Select Committee, there was considerable debate about whether there was a difference between the pools, as a game of skill—
§ Mr. Brooke
Let me finish my answer to the hon. Member for Birkenhead.
It was suggested to me in the Select Committee that the pools were not an exercise in skill but an exercise in chance. If that is so, why have they not been liable to the provisions of the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976, which is very tightly drawn and would have greatly reduced the sphere of activity in which the pools could have featured? If the pools were a game of chance, as is being implied, they should have been subject to the Act ever since 1976.
§ Mr. Brooke
I shall give way to my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns), who made a specific point during Question Time.
§ Mr. Simon Burns (Chelmsford)
I am grateful to my right hon. Friend. Does he share my amazement at the lobbying efforts of the football pools operators? As I said earlier, they have enjoyed a monopoly in this country for many years, running what is basically the equivalent of a national lottery. Now they are seeking simply to protect their own interests and to maintain the status quo. They do not like the idea of anyone else running a similar operation that will raise money for good causes—unlike their own game, which raises money for football and profits for themselves.
§ Madam Speaker
Order. Let us make some progress. [Interruption.] Order. I accept what the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) has said, but I did not hear the remark to which he referred. Let us make some progress, 723 and let us have some order. [Interruption.] Order. I have just told the hon. Member for Chelmsford that I did not hear what was said, although I accept what he himself said. If I did not hear what was said, I cannot ask an hon. Member to withdraw it.
§ Sir Ivan Lawrence (Burton)
Further to that point of order, Madam Speaker. Of course you are quite right, but the hon. Gentleman over there knows that he made the remark. He should do the decent thing and withdraw it.
§ Madam Speaker
The hon. and learned Gentleman refers to "the hon. Gentleman over there". As I did not hear the remark, and as I do not know to which hon. Member the hon. and learned Gentleman is now pointing, I cannot deal with the matter.
§ Mr. Brooke
I have sought to give way generously. As I shall deal next with the provisions of the Bill, perhaps you, Madam Speaker, will allow me to give way to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Kilfoyle), who has been trying to intervene.
§ Mr. Peter Kilfoyle (Liverpool, Walton)
The Secretary of State compared the pools with the national lottery and other forms of gambling. Does he not recognise that the lottery will not be harmless entertainment but another form of gambling?
§ Mr. Brooke
I have not sought at any stage to deny that the lottery will be at the softer end of the gambling spectrum. The Bill before the House is—
§ Mr. George Howarth
On a point of order, Madam Speaker. I apologise for detaining the House, but the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) is under the impression that I accused him of being paid to lobby in favour of the Bill. If the hon. Gentleman says that that is not so, I unreservedly withdraw what I said. The reason for my confusion, however, is that I understand that the hon. Gentleman works for several lobbying organisations.
§ Mr. Burns
Further to that point of order, Madam Speaker. I think that the hon. Gentleman has in front of him the Register of Members' Interests. If he looks at my entry there, and at previous editions, he will see that I have never been a parliamentary consultant or a lobbyist for any organisation.
§ Mr. Brooke
The Bill before the House is an enabling Bill. It establishes the legality of the national lottery, sets up a regime of licensing and regulation, and establishes the mechanism for distributing money to good causes. It is an innovative and forward-thinking Bill in many respects. The framework it establishes is intended to give maximum flexibility so that the regulator can respond quickly and effectively to changing developments. The lottery will be run by a single private sector operator. The successful company will be licensed by the Director General of the 724 National Lottery—Oflot—who will issue a licence to run the lottery under clause 5 of the Bill. But games will change over time, so there is a separate system for licensing them—the clause 6 licence. This will ensure maximum operational flexibility and will enable Oflot to regulate the rules of proposed games and ensure that they will be more practically able to ensure the maximisation of proceeds.
The rest of part I variously provides for the conditions which may be satisfied before a licence is granted and powers of revocation and enforcement. Key powers for the Secretary of State are contained in clauses 11 and 12. Clause 11 deals with matters on which I can direct the director general with regard to the licence, both in what the licence should contain and what should be taken into account when deciding whether or not a licence should be granted. I am minded to outlaw certain types of game which might be said to lead to potential exploitation of the consumer or might not be subject to sufficient controls —such as telephone games, or games using national insurance numbers, or games which encourage excessive play. I am also minded to outlaw the discounting of tickets and limiting rollover, which will help to avoid abuse.
Clause 12 sets out the areas on which I can regulate the lottery. These will affect people who play the lottery or who sell tickets—those who are not covered by the licence. Under this category, I intend to set a minimum age of 16 for those who can buy or sell tickets, to outlaw the selling of tickets in pubs and betting offices, to specify the information which must appear in any advertisement for the lottery, and to prescribe how the lottery logo should be displayed. Part I also makes provision for a report to be made to me by the director general each year and I am required to lay this report before Parliament. Clause 16 makes the taking of bets on the outcome of the national lottery a ground for the revocation or non-renewal of a bookmaker's permit.
Part II deals with the distribution of proceeds. We must be quite clear that, although this is not Government money, it is money provided by the public, so it must be used in the best possible way. So far as possible, we plan to use existing bodies in order not to duplicate expertise or run counter to existing well-laid strategies.
Clause 20 sets out the proportions to go to each sector —20 per cent. each. These proportions can be amended subject to affirmative resolution, as set out in clause 25, and I intend that the allocation should be considered once a Parliament. With the exception of the millennium fund, no category can disappear completely; it must receive at least 5 per cent. of proceeds. On 31 December 2000, money will stop going into part of the distribution fund that is intended to fund millennium projects—unless I substitute a later date, which again would be subject to affirmative resolution. This is in case it is necessary to accommodate any projects that overrun and might require more time or money for completion.
§ Mr. Banks
I have not been called West Ham for a long time. I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman; it takes me back. What is the Government's objection to bets against the outcome of the lottery? I do not understand 725 that. If we are going to get into gambling, why not extend the whole area of gambling? Has the right hon. Gentleman ever filled in a football coupon, and does he intend to buy a lottery ticket?
§ Mr. Brooke
The answer to the hon. Gentleman's question was contained in the opening stages of my speech, in which I said that the last lottery disappeared in 1826 simply because interest had shifted. I am sufficiently cautious that I shall not write into the Bill a freedom to do what killed the Bill 167 years ago.
The Bill establishes five equal accounts as a distribution fund into which money is paid. Money for arts and sport is automatically divided further between different distribution bodies. In the case of the arts, this will go to the Arts Council of Great Britain, which covers England, Scotland and Wales, and the Arts Council for Northern Ireland. The Bill proposes that the money should be divided according to a standard formula based on population. For sport, the money is divided between the sports councils for the four nations. It will eventually be divided even further to reflect the creation of the United Kingdom sports commission to deal with strategic UK-wide projects. Its share might be about 15 per cent. The percentages will be changed once the commission is established.
§ Mr. John Maxton (Glasgow, Cathcart)
Will the Secretary of State consider ensuring that the money goes directly to the Scottish Arts Council, the Scottish Sports Council and Scottish Heritage rather than it having to go through United Kingdom organisations?
§ Mr. Brooke
As the hon. Gentleman knows from our previous exchanges, money goes directly to the Sports Council. In the case of the arts, it is intended that money will go to the appropriate body in Scotland on a basis which, I hope, will be at least in line with population. We have not specifically written in percentages because it is quite possible that Scottish demand will exceed the population element.
§ Mr. Enright
Under the canons that the Secretary of State has just set forth, will it be possible out of the lottery for the disused hippodrome in Hemsworth to be converted into a swimming pool?
§ Mr. Brooke
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman, with whom I have had previous local exchanges. It might be in the interests of the whole House if I dealt with the rest of the Bill before considering individual projects.
Clause 29 provides for the investment of moneys by the national debt commissioners. The interest from these investments will go into the accounts for the bodies themselves. The bodies will draw down the money at need and may parcel up withdrawals as it suits them.
Clause 24 is intended primarily to give me powers to direct the distributing bodies in the broadest terms on how the money can be used—for example, mainly capital or partnership funding—and how it should be accounted for. The distributive bodies will be responsible for choosing projects for national lottery funding. We expect them to concentrate on projects that would not have been funded from public expenditure.
In planning future expenditure the Government will need to bear in mind the overlaps between the areas benefiting from the lottery and those receiving support from existing expenditure programmes. The Government 726 do not intend, however, that the money provided for the lottery should substitute for that provided in other ways. The proceeds will not be brought within the control total and the Government will not make any case-by-case reduction in conventional expenditure programmes to take account of awards from lottery proceeds.
§ Mrs. Llin Golding (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Will the Secretary of State explain why the sale of tickers is to be prohibited in betting shops? I do not understand the reasoning behind that.
§ Mr. Brooke
In answer to a question from her colleague a little further down her row, the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton, I explained that the lottery was at the softer end of the gambling spectrum. We are not in the business of increasing in other respects the amount of gambling which occurs as a result of its introduction.
§ Mr. Carlisle
On the basis of existing public expenditure on sport—perhaps my right hon. Friend will be able to give the House some figures, if not now, later—he will appreciate that there will be a lesser tax take on the pools where, as has already been explained, about 37.5 per cent. is going into football anyway. Has he taken that into account, and is it absolutely certain that the ring fencing of the fund which he described will not be broken by the Treasury, which will possibly take less money because of the national lottery and therefore reduce tax revenue on other forms of gambling?
§ Mr. Brooke
It may be helpful if I tell my hon. Friend what I was about to say because that would have certain virtues of economy in terms of the House's time.
There has been some suggestion of enshrining additionality within the legislation. I would be most intrigued to see how those putting forward that view would propose it might be achieved, other than by making sure the use of lottery money is transparent at all stages and by ensuring that distributors develop procedures that distinguish between projects funded by the lottery and others. I have already made it clear that that is our intention.
Part of the financial direction that I will give will ensure that lottery money is accounted for and handled in a way that is entirely and transparently different from ordinary programme expenditure. It will be issued in addition to existing financial memoranda which relate to programme expenditure. I realise that clause 24 has caused anxiety in some quarters as appearing to be too sweeping: it is not my intention to exercise the powers in this way. Clause 24 is merely designed to ensure that money which is public money, in so far as it is held and is spent on behalf of the public, should be properly used and should be seen to be properly used. There is no intention that I should use the clause to direct the use of lottery money towards individual projects. I will consider how the intention behind the clause could he clarified and look forward to hearing others' views on this.
727 I think it should be fairly clear why we have chosen the bodies we have in the arts and sports world. In other sectors, the decisions may seem less self-evident. It might assist the House if I were to elaborate on our thinking.
On heritage, we have decided to use the National Heritage Memorial Fund—the fund has proved itself a great success over the past 12 years and many hon. Members from both sides of the House can take a personal pride in that success. They may recall how it was conceived in a Select Committee of this House, and how it was delivered in the National Heritage Act 1980 with the support of all parties. It is a superb example of a truly parliamentary initiative, and it is a success on which we now intend to build.
The fund has the advantage of already having powers to acquire land, buildings and objects of outstanding historical, cultural or scientific interest, and the Bill seeks to extend its powers to build new buildings to house heritage items, and to allow facilities to be paid for which will enhance the public's understanding or enjoyment of the heritage. They also encompass the natural as well as the built heritage. This will better reflect the needs of the heritage sector across the board. The Bill also expands the numbers of trustees from 10 to 14 to reflect its expanded role. We are quite clear that the existing work of the fund should continue, and that its role with regard to the lottery should be additional and distinct.
We considered using the NHMF rather than bodies such as English Heritage very carefully indeed, but English Heritage covers only England and deals only with the built heritage. In Scotland and Wales the equivalent bodies—Historic Scotland and CADW—are executive agencies of Government, while the equivalent in Northern Ireland is a Government Department. None of these bodies covers the countryside, so we would have needed to use the Countryside Commission and other bodies. Using the NHMF simplifies matters considerably. We also needed to be clear that the distributor could not itself be a beneficiary of the lottery.
The NHMF will, of course, need to work closely with bodies such as English Heritage and the Countryside Commission, as well as with the Museums and Galleries Commission, among others. Constructive working relationships are already being established and the Department will do everything it can to support those relationships.
The structure of the proposed charities board has been established in the light of work by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Association of Charitable Foundations. I pay tribute to both bodies for their efforts. Their advice has been extremely helpful and I hope that, directly or indirectly, our proposals will largely address their concerns. Many of their proposals are concerned with detailed practice and procedures, and I am sure that when constituted the new board will also find their views helpful.
The underlying principle behind the proposed board is that it should be as efficient and autonomous as possible, with the ability to ensure an even geographical and sectoral spread of lottery money to beneficiaries. The board will consist of 16 members and a chairman, appointed by my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary. Of the 16, three will be appointed in respect of 728 England, of Northern Ireland and of Scotland and Wales. The Secretaries of State for those last three countries will advise the Home Secretary on their particular representatives. The committees will have devolved decision-making powers, and the board will be able to form other committees as it sees fit. It will be able to co-opt expert but non-executive advisers and to appoint its own staff.
We considered whether we should set up separate boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as suggested by the NCVO, but concluded that that would lead to increased bureaucracy and inflexibility. We believe that our approach gives maximum power to the board itself to make its own decisions on allocation. That is surely the right approach.
We intend that proceeds allocated to charities should benefit those which do not qualify under the categories of arts, sport and the heritage. The Home Secretary will have a general power to direct the board on the purposes for which the money may be distributed, the conditions to be satisfied before money may be distributed and the accounting procedures that must be adopted. He will not, however, intervene in the day-to-day operations of the board or in individual decisions. The board will lay an annual report before Parliament, and it will be subject to parliamentary scrutiny.
Charities have expressed a number of concerns about the likely effect of the national lottery on their overall incomes. While I understand their anxiety, which is perhaps natural in a climate in which fund raising is not always easy, I think that there is no evidence to suggest that charities will inevitably suffer as a result of the lottery. The lottery will be marketed as a lottery, not as a charitable enterprise. The principal attraction of playing will be the prospect of prizes. The feeling that the lottery will also be helping good causes is secondary and non-specific. International experience suggests that the national lottery will not succeed if its marketing is based on this week's good cause, so the charities' own territory will not be encroached upon directly. I am also confident that those who regularly support charities of their choice will continue to do so with the advent of the national lottery.
§ Mr. Alton
The Secretary of State has referred to the international experience. Does he accept that, after Lotto was introduced in Ireland, all the major charities suffered? Some 16 of them wrote to the Taoiseach saying that the position had reached crisis point and that the third world charity Tocaire had suffered considerably as a result of the introduction of the lottery.
§ Mr. Brooke
It is fortunate that my next paragraph relates to Ireland.
Evidence from Ireland is often cited, but I have to say that the evidence is contradictory and I would not advance it as conclusive evidence in one direction or the other. I hear from the charities themselves that some charities' incomes fell. Yet I read a report by DKM Consultants which showed that the biggest 20 charities' real incomes rose by around 30 per cent. in real terms and that overall charities' incomes rose by 19 per cent. in real terms. That was in a time of recession when in the United Kingdom the charitable household survey published by the Charities Aid Foundation showed that individual charitable giving had decreased by about one third. Significantly, much of the sense of a decrease in donations was based on a belief 729 amongst the charities surveyed that their incomes would have increased by 40 per cent. if there had been no lottery. Therefore, we must be careful about concluding too much from the Irish experience.
§ Sir Ivan Lawrence
Is not it a fact that charitable giving has declined in Northern Ireland over the same period, although there is no national lottery there?
§ Mr. Brooke
I am grateful to my hon. and learned Friend. If that is so, it is a matter of distress to me because the people of Northern Ireland have a notable reputation for charitable giving.
What we can do is make it quite clear that charities will benefit to the same extent as other beneficiaries from the lottery and that it is in their interests that the lottery is as successful as possible. Part III also amends the law governing small lotteries so that the charities themselves can operate lotteries which are larger and are regulated in a more streamlined way than at present, with an appropriate tightening up of regulations to reflect new turnover levels.
Clause 36 establishes the account in the distribution fund for millennium projects, which I shall call the millennium fund. It will also receive 20 per cent. of lottery proceeds. This clause discharges our manifesto commitment to establish a fundspecificially dedicated to projects which will commemorate the start of the twenty-first century and will be enjoyed by future generations.Clauses 36 to 39 and schedule 6 make provision for the establishment of a Millennium Commission to administer the fund. The commission's members will be appointed by Her Majesty the Queen. I shall say more about the commission in a few moments.
Let me emphasise that we do not intend to restrict the initiative of others who may already be planning their own millennial celebrations. I see the millennium fund as largely promoting projects which lie beyond the scope of individual organisations. There are some notable precedents: the Great Exhibition of 1851, which was a remarkable celebration of the greatness of the arts, manufacture, industry and commerce in this country; and 100 years later the Festival of Britain planned as a commemoration of the Great Exhibition, and described by its secretary general as
A tonic to the nation".Both left their architectural legacies—the splendidly innovative Crystal palace by Joseph Paxton, sadly now destroyed; and the Royal Festival hall, designed by Sir Leslie Martin and Sir Robert Matthew.
§ Mr. Brooke
I acknowledge that Sir Leslie and Sir Robert had LCC associations.
The great museums in south Kensington were funded from the profits made from the Great Exhibition.
These cultural landmarks should help us define what the millennium fund should achieve. We must look ahead, and consider what our legacy should be to future generations. At this stage, no ideas are ruled out. As our manifesto stated, examples of possible millennium projects include trade fairs and improvements in the natural environment as well as new buildings. Already I have received many suggestions for how the fund should be 730 spent. We shall make sure that the whole nation has the benefit of them. We shall promote schemes in each country of the Union.
I am excited by the potential of the millennium fund. It offers scope for making real improvements to the face of the United Kingdom. Because it will be funded out of a new income stream, which will not count as public expenditure, the projects that we will be able to take forward will be additional to those already planned or in prospect. This will apply to the private sector as well as the public sector, for I envisage that the main large-scale projects will involve funding partnerships with the private sector. The regenerative impact on the construction industry, and therefore on the country's economy as a whole, will be considerable in the period leading up to the year 2000.
I believe that it is important that people feel that they too have a say in the use of the fund. Therefore, I envisage that a significant sum should be set aside each year for smaller-scale initiatives suggested by the public. There will also be a bursary scheme, specifically for young people and those recently retired but also available to others.
It will be for the Millennium Commission to decide which projects, whether large or small scale, and which bursaries should be supported out of the millennium fund. The commission will also decide how to elicit ideas and test their viability, as well as the basis on which it will make its decisions.
The commission will have nine members, of whom two will be Government members. I expect to be one, and hope to chair the commission. I am grateful to the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition for agreeing to nominate a member. We shall consult widely before putting forward to Her Majesty nominations for the remaining membership of the commission.
In considering the appointment of the other six, the Government will want to ensure that the members selected are truly independent and are not appointed as, or seen as, representatives of particular organisations or interests or advocates of individual causes which might benefit from millennium projects. The Government will want to ensure that, as well as being appointments on merit, the representation covers the countries of the United Kingdom and is reasonably balanced as to age, gender and ethnic origin. They will want to ensure that the commission has available among its membership skills and experience in the worlds of business and finance, in heritage and architecture, and possibly of education and the environment. Members will initially be appointed for the planned lifetime of the commission, but the Government would be prepared to consider recommending an appointment on a shorter fixed term if the preferred individual was available only on that basis. It is never easy to reconcile all the desirable aims that I have outlined in the appointment to such a body, but I hope that the approach I have suggested will commend itself to the House.
Clauses 38 and 39 provide for the commission to submit an annual report to Parliament and to keep proper accounts. Schedule 6 sets out detailed provisions in relation to the commission.
I hope that I have been able to assist the House by giving way and by setting out the intention behind the Bill and the main provisions contained therein. The Bill represents an opportunity to provide substantial additional funds for areas which are of vital importance 731 for the quality of life of the citizens of the United Kingdom. It also presents a unique opportunity to establish a major new industry within the United Kingdom. It is in the interests of the enterprise, and of our eager constituents, that the lottery should be up and running as quickly as possible.
I commend the Bill to the House.
§ Mrs. Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley)
I beg to move, to leave out from "That" to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof:
this House insists that the National Lottery etc. Bill, in the form proposed, is unacceptable on the grounds detailed in the Third Report from the National Heritage Committee; notes in particular that no safeguards have been offered in respect of protecting employment in the pools industry in areas of high unemployment on Merseyside and in Cardiff, Glasgow and London; and is concerned that essential information on which to base judgments on the likely effects of the lottery, contained in the report by the GAH Group of Management Consultants, commissioned by the Government, has not been published.The Bill has divided what could have been a united House. Early-day motion 986, with 125 signatures, shows the scale and the nature of the division. The House is divided not on the principle of a national lottery but chiefly on the Government's failure to protect the large number of jobs in the private sector that will be lost when the public sector takes over. That must be seen as the unacceptable face of nationalisation.
The Bill carries the imprint of a public sector borrowing requirement and preoccupied Treasury mandarins desperately trying to convince the Secretary of State of his capacity for original thought. Indeed, they have even managed to convince him that doing the pools is a matter of skill. That statement has made the Secretary of State the laughing stock of the British betting industry and of hon. Members. Furthermore, he seems to believe that unemployment in Liverpool, Glasgow, Cardiff and London is only an aberration. A House almost united has been turned into a House gravely divided. Why? It is because, yet again, Ministers have botched it up. A perfectly reasonable proposition has been wrecked by Government insensitivity.
We want adequate funding for the arts, sport, national heritage and charities and a proper level of resources guaranteed over time so that the future can be planned, access can be increased, excellence safeguarded and innovation encouraged, but not at any price. The contribution which the arts and sport make to our national culture and to the enrichment of our lives is fully appreciated by the Opposition, but it is grudgingly recognised by the Government who have steadily reduced their support in real terms, in particular for the arts. Every day in our post my hon. Friends and I receive evidence of councils trying to wrestle with their appalling budget problems for 1993–94 and the resulting massive cuts in arts and sports spending.
§ Mr. John Gorst (Hendon, North)
If the Opposition were to be elected to government, would they amend the Bill, or would they accept it in whatever form it is passed today?
§ Mrs. Clwyd
That will depend entirely on what amendments are agreed in Committee. I cannot possibly commit the Opposition to any intention until we see what happens in Committee. That is obvious to everyone.
In the voluntary sector, thousands of charities, large and small, bring people together to support the causes that they believe in. That is a solid base for a decent society which is better developed here than elsewhere and is the envy of many others. The House, I am sure, will join me in paying tribute to those who run arts, sports and voluntary groups and the efforts of organisers and fund raisers, both unpaid and professional.
We are greatly concerned about the proposed form of the national lottery. I shall spell out those concerns in detail.
In the White Paper on the national lottery, the Government acknowledged that the pools were the form of gambling most likely to be affected by the introduction of the national lottery and promised to study the impact, undertaking also to consult widely with charitable interests and to pay careful attention to what they said. We question how adequately that promise has been fulfilled.
There is widespread anxiety throughout the House about the effects of a national lottery on employment in the pools industry. That anxiety has already been widely reflected in interventions. The football pools are one of Merseyside's largest and most stable employers. No fewer than 4,630 people work for Littlewoods and Vernons in Liverpool and Birkenhead. There are also 730 jobs in Glasgow, 640 in Cardiff and 500 in London. In addition, some 80,000 people work part time as self-employed pools coupon collectors. The commission that they earn, which is small but important—about £20 a week on average—is an important source of income to them. Does the Minister recognise that the only wage for thousands of families in the Merseyside area comes from a member of the family who works in the pools?
When I met workers at Littlewoods in Liverpool a week ago and talked to people who had worked there for some 29 years—grandmothers, mothers and daughters—it reminded me very much of the mining industry where generations have worked in coal. I sincerely hope that the Minister does not have the same fate in store for workers in the pools industry as the Government have for the workers whom I represent who previously worked in the coal industry.
§ Mr. John Carlisle
Like the hon. Lady, I have visited Littlewoods pools and was impressed by the number of people who were employed. Many of the workers came in only on Saturday mornings to deal with the volume of mail and to sort things out. Can the hon. Lady confirm that the figures that she gave originally, not the 80,000 part-time workers whom she said were collectors, are for full-time jobs, or are some of them part-time jobs as well?
§ Mrs. Jane Kennedy (Liverpool, Broadgreen)
Does my hon. Friend accept that, while there may be a difference between full time and part time, part-time work is equally valuable, especially when the wage that it brings in is of value to the family?
§ Mrs. Clwyd
My hon. Friend makes a good point. In the United Kingdom, we know that part-time work is the 733 only work available for many women. Indeed, many women do not register as unemployed and therefore the unemployment figures for areas such as Merseyside are misleading. I pay tribute to the importance of part-time work for many families in Liverpool and elsewhere.
At a time of high and rising unemployment, no one would wish to make decisions that might adversely affect large numbers of established jobs without the fullest possible information. It is that information which has been denied to the House by the Minister.
§ Mrs. Audrey Wise (Preston)
Does my hon. Friend accept that the policy of the pools industry has been to maintain employment as much as possible and that it has under-mechanised, compared with what it could have done? That situation will not prevail if the pools industry is subjected to cut-throat, wide competition, and it will be a factor in reducing employment.
§ Mrs. Clwyd
I am glad to confirm my hon. Friend's point. As I walked around the Littlewoods factory I saw evidence of mechanisation and I had a discussion with the managers about it. They confirmed that mechanisation has taken place in the past 20 years and that further mechanisation will take place, but at the same time they have been careful to protect as far as possible jobs in the pools industry in Liverpool and elsewhere. It is an important point that the managers at Littlewoods are looked on by the workers in the factories as considerate employers.
§ Mr. Richard Tracey (Surbiton)
I put it to the hon. Lady that that is an unfortunately negative attitude towards the future of the pools. I compare the United Kingdom and our attitude towards the game of football with the attitude in Italy where there is similar high interest, even fanaticism, about football. Both the pools and the lottery exist in Italy. In the United Kingdom, market research has shown that 92 per cent. of the people who currently play the pools would be interested in doing both the lottery and the pools and that only a few people would consider stopping doing the pools in favour of the lottery. Surely that points to a good future for the pools.
§ Mrs. Clwyd
Unless we see the Government's evidence to the contrary, there is no evidence to support what the hon. Gentleman is saying.
The Government's own investigations have been kept secret. How can the Secretary of State possibly describe the report as confidential when hon. Members on both sides of the House have quoted from it, as has the Secretary of State? If he is not afraid of showing what the report has found, there can be no possible reason for not allowing Members of Parliament a view of it. If the Minister gives the explanation that the report is commercially confidential, I do not understand why he cannot go back to the people who gave evidence and ask to be released from the promise of confidentiality, which I believe should never have been given in the first place.
§ Mr. Robert N. Wareing (Liverpool, West Derby)
The hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Tracey) compared the position in Italy with the proposal for Britain. Is my hon. Friend aware that, although in Italy there is a national lottery and football pools, there are only four or five lottery sweepstake draws each year? The Bill proposes weekly draws, so the amount of competition is not comparable.
§ Mrs. Clwyd
I thank my hon. Friend for making that point, but I wish to return to the independent report. It is the only report commissioned by the Government. Therefore, we should be able to see its findings. According to leaks in The Guardian and elsewhere, the fears expressed by the pools industry have been wholly justified by the findings of the report.
For example, the report questions the Government's claims that billions of pounds will be made available to help arts and sport without serious consequences elsewhere. It concludes—this answers the point of the hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Tracey), as it does that of my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Wareing)—that, even though the British pools industry is looked on as an institution and playing is a habit passed down from generation to generation, there will be a reduction in revenues of 17.5 per cent. over three years and 1,100 job losses. The Secretary of State must answer that point this afternoon.
I am not surprised that the Secretary of State refuses to publish the report, especially as it apparently offers five changes which could be introduced to safeguard the pools industry. I ask the Minister again to publish the report. I am sure that he could recant on his previous assurances that we would not have sight of it. Will he let the House properly assess the impact of the national lottery on jobs in areas that are already badly hit by the Government's policies?
§ Mr. Alton
I thank the hon. Lady for the way in which she has put her points and I agree with her entirely. Does she agree that it is significant that we have not heard this afternoon from any Ministers at the Department of Employment? The Government clearly have not weighed the employment argument in their dead-set determination to press on with the national lottery at all expense.
§ Mrs. Clwyd
Yes, indeed. It is interesting that the Government only speculate on the number of jobs that the national lottery could provide in place of the pools jobs. But the pools jobs are established jobs. We prefer to put our faith in established jobs rather than in the Government's promises of what jobs might be provided at some time in the future.
I noticed that the Secretary of State did not make much of the report of the Select Committee on National Heritage, which makes some interesting points. It suggests that the majority of job losses will occur in Merseyside, an area which already has 15.3 per cent. unemployment overall and male unemployment of 21.2 per cent. In parts of Liverpool, Glasgow, Cardiff and London, one person in four is unemployed. So it is hardly likely that people in those areas will give up their jobs without cast-iron guarantees from the Government that they will be either protected or replaced by other jobs. What further plans does the Minister have to maintain existing jobs and to create new ones in those areas? What thought has he given to establishing the headquarters of the office of national lottery in an area such as Merseyside? Perhaps he will give us an answer this afternoon.
The Minister has expressed his anxiety about the unemployment consequences for the pools industry, but that is not enough. Opposition Members and some Conservative Members understand too well the tragedy of having no job and the effect on the whole family of trying and failing time after time to get a job. I assure the 735 Secretary of State that we shall want much firmer commitments from the Government on jobs than he gave us today.
§ Mr. Andrew Hargreaves (Birmingham, Hall Green)
Does the hon. Lady accept that I and my colleagues would be much more persuaded by her arguments if she were talking about something other than a purely commercial operation? She talks about job losses. All of us—especially those of us from areas such as Birmingham—appreciate her point. But we are weighing the public good of extra opportunities. The hon. Lady should take the positive step of saying, "Here is extra money and extra opportunity for the public well-being, not private or commercial well-being."
§ Mrs. Clwyd
I find the hon. Gentleman's intervention extraordinary. If he really cared about providing jobs, he would agree that a job in the hand is worth more than a job in the bush. He talks about the possibility that the national lottery will provide jobs elsewhere to compensate for the loss of jobs in the areas that I have specified. I cannot take seriously his intervention.
Hon. Members on both sides of the House expressed the view in previous debates that there should be a level playing field for the national lottery and the pools industry. It is a view that I share. However, reacting to the Select Committee report last week, the Secretary of State said:I do not believe that the pools and the National Lottery should operate on a so-called level playing field.He has confirmed that today.
Let me remind the House what the Select Committee said. It recommended
that the Lottery and the pools should be treated equally with regard to advertising on all media; in the marketing of their products; in the ability to roll over jack pots; and in the way the pools are promoted to clients who do not wish to exercise the use of skill and judgement.I am not in favour of advertising gambling on television, but there must be freedom to advertise for all or a ban on all. It is absurd to maintain the fiction that the lottery is not gambling or a game of chance and that it is fundamentally different from the pools, even though 90 per cent. of pools players use lucky numbers.
We should not ignore the fact that a minority of our fellow citizens conscientiously oppose a national lottery, as they do all forms of gambling. It is true that gambling to excess adds to the difficulties already faced by some households. Those difficulties include mortgage repossessions, personal debt and high and rising unemployment —all brought about by the Government's policies. The Government must ensure that the national lottery is not promoted in a way that leads to excessive gambling.
We accept that the problems facing arts funding are so large as to require joint responses from the public and private sectors. We have stressed repeatedly, since the publication of the Bill, that money raised from the national lottery should not be a substitute for Government funding for the arts, sports and heritage.
§ Mrs. Clwyd
I shall give way when I have completed this point.
736 The Minister has been pressed by the Opposition and the Select Committee on National Heritage to give a clear guarantee that Government funding will not be cut in those areas as a result of the lottery. Indeed, we have tabled an amendment to help him to do exactly that. We have gone further, by arguing that the establishment of a national lottery should not be a substitute for necessary increases in Government spending on the arts, sports and heritage. The money must not be seen as a substitute for public spending. It is crucial that that principle is strengthened in the Bill. Is the Minister prepared to do that?
§ Mr. Jessel
A quarter of an hour ago, the hon. Lady said that Government arts funding had steadily reduced. She must be aware that during each of the past three years there has been a substantial increase—last year it was 14 per cent. and in the previous three years it was 9, 10 or 11 per cent.—and was well ahead of inflation, although there has been a hestitation this year because of world recession. She must agree that it was somewhat misleading to the House to talk of a steady reduction. Will she withdraw that remark as I am sure that she would not want to mislead the House?
§ Mrs. Clwyd
I thought that I had given way to the Minister, but clearly I was misled. Before the hon. Gentleman asks me to withdraw that comment, perhaps he would like to consider the Treasury Select Committee report published on 16 December, which points out that, in real terms, using the Treasury's gross domestic product deflator, the spending of the Department of National Heritage will fall by 5.4 per cent. in 1993–94, compared with expenditure this year. The Committee went on to tell the House that Government spending on the performing arts will fall in real terms by more than 10 per cent. in total during the survey period, compared with 1992–93.
As I said, local authorities are being forced to cut their spending on the arts and sports because of the squeeze that the Government have put on their budgets. We believe that without that commitment to additionality, the national lottery becomes a sort of voluntary taxation scheme—buy a ticket and cut the budget. In the present chaotic state of Government finance—where the Conservative party is lost without a map in a financial maze of its own making—the temptation to cut money for the arts, sport and heritage and to transfer the burden to the lottery will be great. The Treasury should not be permitted to raid the coffers of the lottery to cover up its complete failure to manage the economy.
I see that the former Secretary of State for National Heritage, the right hon. and learned Member for Putney (Mr. Mellor), is giving his right hon. Friend some advice —presumably on how to answer my questions when he sums up the debate.
A useful document fell into my hands—[Interruption.]
§ Madam Deputy Speaker (Dame Janet Fookes)
Order. There is too much conversation behind the hon. Lady, which seems particularly discourteous to her.
§ Mrs. Clwyd
Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I am sure that it was not meant as such. I think that the hilarity was caused by the previous intervention.
A useful document has fallen into my hands—the Conservative party research department's brief for Members. It states:
737Wherever possible, lottery money will be given on a partnership basis, with donations from the private sector or local authorities augmenting input from lottery funds. In this way the Lottery will help even more good causes. However, those groups who are unable to provide matching funds from their own resources will not be at a disadvantage when bidding for funds".I shall be interested to hear what the Minister has to say about that. Can he explain precisely what it means? Will cash-strapped local authorities be expected to put up large amounts of money to match lottery finance for arts and sports projects?
One remembers how the Government behaved over the argument with the European Community on additionality. We have every reason to suspect that they will be less than honest in protecting core funding from central Government to the arts, sport and heritage.
Under the Bill, the Secretary of State assumes large powers over lottery regulation and the allocation of lottery revenue. We have asked for an assurance that once the lottery is operating he will not use those powers to make sudden or sweeping changes—for example, in the share-out of funds—without returning to the House.
The Minister has given no undertaking to rethink the extent of the powers that he has assumed under the Bill. We argue that Parliament should be able to influence the use of those powers and we believe that the directions that the Secretary of State can give to the distributing bodies, under clause 24, should be used to increase access and involvement in arts, culture and recreation, with a special commitment to equal opportunities in participation and employment.
§ Mr. Brooke
I do not think that either of us would wish to mislead the House. In my speech I said that the allocations of 20 per cent. for each of the five categories are on the face of the Bill and would be subject to affirmative resolution. I expected Parliament to express its opinion on whether the proportion going to each cause was right.
§ Mrs. Clwyd
I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for that explanation. We are firmly of the view that the national lottery charities board, set out in clauses 32 to 35, should be broadly representative, socially and geographically. The Government have a well-known passion for quangos—usually containing a clutch of their relatives and supporters. Will the Minister assure us that membership of the national lottery charities board will consist of people widely respected among charity workers and not contributors to Tory election funds? Will he ensure that membership of the board includes the people whom voluntary organisations seek to serve, such as disabled or mentally handicapped people?
The Opposition have serious anxieties about the effect of the national lottery on the level of funds donated to charities. What further action will the Minister take to ensure that the status and role of charities is not marginalised in our society? Research by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations estimates that in 1990–91 local authorities reduced funding to voluntary organisations by £29 million. Unfortunately, that is likely to continue while pressures on local authority spending are maintained. Will national lottery proceeds for charity be taken into account by central and local government when deciding on discretionary grants to voluntary organisations? Perhaps the Minister would care to enlighten us about that.
738 We want the millenium fund to be broadly based. Its projects should not be narrowly metropolitan and I am grateful to the Secretary of State for his assurance about that. It should aim to widen access to the arts and culture in the nations and regions of Britain. Any attempt to use the Millenium Commission as a slush fund for the Tory party and its friends to pour funds into marginal constituencies for political advantage will be carefully monitored.
We also want to know what guidelines the Secretary of State will lay down for the director general when selecting the franchise holder. What sort of guarantees of probity will be demanded? Will the director general clarify in advance what he expects from the franchise holders, particularly in terms of an acceptable level of turnover for administration, promotion and control of the circumstances in which lottery tickets can be sold? The Secretary of State has given us the benefit of some of his thinking on those issues this afternoon.
We believe that taxation on the national lottery should not be set at a level that stifles the lottery's principal purpose—to raise money for new projects in the arts, sports and heritage. We believe that the maximum proportion of national lottery revenue to be devoted to tax and administration should be no higher than 15 per cent.
In the past, the Opposition have supported the general principle of a national lottery as a means to raise new money for the arts, sports and heritage projects. Clearly, new theatres, sports centres and swimming pools can raise the quality of life for everyone. Historic buildings and monuments could be restored and many charities could receive a welcome boost of cash—that is the theory. However, we have grave doubts, which have not yet been satisfactorily answered by the Government. We have genuine concerns and deserve a full and honest reply from the Conservative party.
§ 5.1 pm
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker (Mole Valley)
It will not come as a surprise to the House to learn that I warmly welcome the Bill. It implements, in almost precise terms, the proposals that I laid before the House in a White Paper last March to introduce a national lottery. I warmly welcome the speech by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in proposing the Bill. I also welcome part of the speech by the hon. Member for Cynon Valley (Mrs. Clwyd).
§ Mr. Baker
No. When the hon. Lady dealt with the details of the lottery, she was positive and helpful, but she was searching for a principle on which to oppose it.
Having listened to the debate, I have been struck by the amount of discussion on employment considerations in Merseyside, Glasgow and Cardiff. However, the national lottery raises much broader and more national considerations. I shall later deal with the pools and what I believe should be done to help pools companies to deal with the competition of the national lottery.
I am proud to have been the Home Secretary who committed the Government to introducing a national lottery. I was somewhat surprised that it took so long to come about. In 1987, the Rothschild report clearly set out the case for a national lottery—to raise money for good causes. The Bill will substantially increase the sum of human happiness. We rarely have the chance to vote for 739 such a Bill. It will improve the quality of life for many hundreds of thousands of people across our country. It draws its inspiration from Denry Machin who, in the final pages of Arnold Bennett's novel "The Card", when asked in which cause he believed, said he believed in the cause of cheering people up. The Bill will create a great deal of cheer around the country—[interruption.] The Government need a Bill to cheer people up. I believe that the Bill will enhance the Government's reputation.
The Bill will provide money for the arts, sports, charities and those causes on which hon. Members on both sides of the House wish to spend more money. Successive Governments have always found it difficult to provide the amount of money that we should all like to see spent on such causes. I pay tribute to the Labour party which, in the 1960s, pulled together expenditure on the arts and formed the first Ministry for the Arts under the first Minister, Jennie Lee, whom I remember. I believe that she made a significant contribution to the cause of cheering us all up. That was only a beginning, which successive Governments have built on and extended to cover sport as well.
Successive Governments have found it difficult to provide the sort of money required. During my ministerial career I was responsible for the heritage budget and the sports budget. Both budgets were increased while I was responsible for them—as the House would expect—but not to the extent that I would have liked. I had a reputation in the Treasury of not knowingly being underbid.
§ Mr. Baker
I have the confirmation of a former Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
I believe that the money available from the lottery will benefit the country. I agreed with those parts of the speech by the hon. Member for Cynon Valley in which she recognised that. I suspect that, had Labour won the last election, we would not today be debating a national lottery Bill. I suspect that we would have had to rely on the courage of a private Member such as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Burton (Sir I. Lawrence) to introduce a private Member's Bill. I hope that the House will proceed with the National Lottery etc. Bill.
How much money will be made available? There have been various estimates. I noticed that there were discussions about the reports of accountants and consultants. My advice to the House is not to give them too much credence, as they are all projections. I suspect that, during the two or three weeks in which we shall debate the future of many of our coal pits, many Opposition Members will say that the reports that have already been published are not worth the paper that they are written on. We shall have to make an assessment of how the pools will be affected based on the best available evidence.
The amount of money that will be made available has been estimated at £1 billion, £2 billion, £3 billion and, in some cases, as high as £4 billion in gross take—a substantial amount of money. How much of that money will be available to the good causes? I agree with the hon. Member for Cynon Valley in her hope that the Treasury and the Government will err on the side of generosity. The standard practice in existing lotteries around the world 740 seems to be that between 48 and 50 per cent. of the overall take is used in prize money. Of the remaining 50 per cent., the amount spent on administration and commission for the people who sell the tickets can be as much as 15 per cent., which leaves 35 per cent.
I notice that, during some of the lobbying that we have heard, people have said that all the take should go to the good causes. I should like to see that in an ideal world, but we do not live in an ideal world. The Treasury exists and will want a take. I hope that it will take as little as possible. I dare say that it is asking for 20 per cent.—I have no idea whether I am right as such facts are not leaked. It may be asking for 20 per cent. and it may settle for 15 per cent. —I hope that it will settle for 10 per cent., which will leave 25 per cent. available for distribution.
If the Treasury wants to try to take more money out of the available pool, it might consider placing a levy on some of the bigger prizes—for example, 5 per cent. on prizes of more than £5,000.
§ Mr. Graham
Why should the Government take anything if they are going to gain major benefits to help with sports and other activities? Why do they not leave all the money?
§ Mr. Baker
There is a case for such a policy, and I have heard it argued, but we live in the real world and the Treasury will want to take some tax. That seems to be the pattern with other lotteries, and I base my recommendation on that realistic assessment.
Whatever effect the Bill may have on the pools, it is undoubtedly a job-positive measure. Not only will jobs be created in the administration of the national lottery, but the national lottery funds will generate a spend of possibly as much as £1 billion in the arts and sports. That money could be used for building new sports stadia, supporting creative sports and artistic activities and improving our national heritage. The new jobs will be spread throughout the country. Some estimates put the number of new jobs as high as 80,000 a year. On the whole, the measure will be job-positive.
§ Mr. Baker
The hon. Gentleman is assuming that there will be a rapid and dramatic reduction in pool betting. I shall take up that assumption in a moment.
Some of the charities seem to be concerned that they will lose money if the Bill is enacted. I do not believe that that will happen. Indeed, the outcome of the Bill could be an additional source of revenue for them. Those who choose to have a flutter on the national lottery—£1.50, £2 or £1 a week—are not likely to divert such moneys from charitable causes. The Government have made some sensible changes to the law that relates to smaller lotteries, from which many small charities derive.
As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has said, the Government will be able to review the position. The proportion of moneys that will go to each of the five beneficiaries is set out in the Bill, but it could be varied from Parliament to Parliament according to order. If it could be shown that charities were suffering—I do not 741 think that that would be possible—the House would have the opportunity to vary the moneys going to charities by means of dispensations.
The position of the pools does not constitute a case for not having a national lottery. Some of the pools argued that a few years ago but that has now stopped. The effect on the pools tends to be exaggerated. I accept that it is a matter of conjecture, but I spoke to the pools and to various individuals within the companies.
The pools have enjoyed a privileged position for many years. In effect, three companies have had a monopoly in pool soft gambling. I am not surprised that they are not welcoming competition with open arms. There is talk of a level playing field, but is it reasonable to have a level playing field between pools that are operated for profit and a national lottery that is operated for good causes? I am not so sure that it is. With hard and soft gambling there is virtually no level playing field when it comes to the various things that make up gambling enterprises.
My right hon. Friend used rather a good phrase when he referred to adjacent playing fields. That is true, for example, of the laws relating to dog racing and horse racing. There is different legislation. On and off-course betting is treated differently. With soft gambling, there is different legislation for bingos and small lotteries. In other words, there is no consistency.
Part of the case that has been advanced by the pools is reasonable. The organisations have asked, however, for a series of changes which would, in effect, make them a separate national lottery. I do not believe that that status should be granted to them. On the other hand, it is reasonable to make some concessions. One such concession that would be reasonable is the sale of coupons in retail outlets. That seems sensible. For the reasons that I have given, I do not believe that there is a case for the same tax treatment. One system is operated for profit and the other for good causes. Should there be some relaxation on advertising? I think that that would depend upon the terms of advertising that are agreed by the Secretary of State.
I understand the concerns of hon. Members about employment considerations, but there is a positive aspect. The positive job creation possibility of a national lottery is much greater than the possibility of job losses. I think that the possible losses are exaggerated.
§ Mr. Baker
That will be a matter for the Secretary of State and the director general of the national lottery. As it is a national matter, the impact could be spread across the country.
For all of the reasons that I have outlined, I warmly welcome the Bill. It will considerably improve our capacity as a country to improve the quality of life of not only a few people but of people throughout the country.
§ Mr. Baker
I am just about to conclude my remarks.
The Bill will improve the quality of life of those who participate in sport. When it comes to the distribution of moneys in sport, I hope that the bias will be towards support for young people who participate in sport. That is one of the great advantages of a national lottery. The same applies to those who participate in the arts and in the 742 appreciation of our national heritage. As I have said, the Bill will increase the sum of human happiness. I hope that we shall all support it.
§ Mr. Joseph Ashton (Bassetlaw)
It is obvious from the questions that have been asked and the various points made that a major missing piece in the jigsaw is the report that was commissioned by the Government—it cost £55,000 of public money—to try to ascertain what would happen if the Bill were enacted. The report of the GAH group was leaked.
I was a member of the Select Committee on the National Heritage that considered a national lottery. The members of that Committee strenuously questioned the Minister, who refused to give us any details on the ground of commercial secrecy. Why did he take that view? The franchise has not been granted. Those who are applying for it should have copies of the report. If they can have the report, why cannot hon. Members? Why cannot the public read it? After all, it was they who paid for it. There is a conspiracy of silence.
The Government propose to set up something that would have a turnover of about £1,500 million a year. That is getting on for the turnover of British Coal. There is all the fuss about British Coal, but in this context its turnover is only about £1.8 billion. If the Bill is enacted, the Government will set up a new industry with a turnover of £1,500 million a year, yet there is nothing before the House except the Bill. That is because some of those who are seeking the franchise are likely to lose their shirts.
I met one of the leading contenders for the franchise. I shall not name him—we did not meet in confidence—because it would not be fair to do so. I asked him how his company would go about launching the national lottery if it secured the franchise. He said that it would have 10,000 outlets. He told me that that was all it could have in the first year. That means that each outlet would have to take £2,800 a week in £1 bets. If we take the local grocer—Mr. Patel—a newsagent or whatever, those businesses do not take £2,800 a week, never mind £2,800 in £1 bets, but that is the sort of turnover that the Government are expecting. I suspect that the Government took the turnover of the national lottery in Ireland, multiplied that by the population of the United Kingdom and decided that that would be the turnover of the proposed national lottery. In taking that approach they forgot, it seems, that Ireland does not provide anything like the scope for the pools that is available in the United Kingdom.
Let us consider how £2,800 a week might be gathered. First, it must be recognised that the system will have to be computerised. There can be no slippage in a national lottery. Anyone who runs a raffle or something of that sort will know that one collector in 1,000 will be tempted not to put in the money that he has collected. That collector will put the money in his back pocket or say, "I will have this bet myself." We cannot have that in a national lottery. It seems that it will cost £7,000 to instal in a shop a computerised system that will enable a member of the public to get a bet on the big jackpot half an hour before it takes place. A receipt will be given and the bet will have to go down to London or wherever to the headquarters of the national lottery. It will have to be recorded because the system will be taking bets right up to the time of the draw —let us say 8 pm on a Saturday night when Princess Di 743 draws the big jackpot, or when Jeremy Beadle is on. It will be necessary to have people like that to hype it up and promote the system. That is what the Government are talking about introducing.
Let us say that there are 10,000 outlets with a computerised system that costs £7,000 apiece. That means that those who launch the franchise will have to spend about £70 million to £80 million, if my arithmetic is right. It will be a massive injection of cash. Unless they have seen the report, they have no real prospect of getting that money back.
When it comes to collection, there is talk of paying commission of 6 per cent. to the guy who runs the newsagency, for example. As I said, I do not think that he will take £2,800 a week. It will be more like £100 a week. That means that for six quid a week he will look after the machinery, take the money and hand over the tickets. The commission of pools collectors is 15 per cent., not 6 per cent. These facts decide the structure of lotteries, whether we are talking about pools or a national lottery.
The pools business depends on 75,000 door-knockers. Every Friday night the collectors knock on doors and they will ask, "Mrs. Brown, are you having your two quids worth?" Mrs. Brown will then have her flutter, which often will be based on dole numbers, birthdays or whatever. The collector will then move on to the next house. That is how the money is collected. The pools organisations fear that if the collectors start to do something else, such as issuing national lottery tickets, their business will collapse in a couple of months, along with the jobs of the collectors.
These matters have been examined by the secret report. The public's money was used to enable investigations to be carried out to ascertain the long-term effect on jobs. Those engaged in producing the report have considered the number of outlets that will be required, mechanisation and the way in which cash will be collected, but these matters have never been explained publicly. None of the findings of the report have been put before the House. We are about to set up a mammoth industry without any of the details and the facts being provided. It is not good enough.
The pools companies are right to demand a level playing field. They should be allowed to have roll-up prizes. Under the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963, if the pools companies take in £2 million this week, they must pay out £2 million this week. The same applies to bingo. If Granada takes a certain amount of bingo money tonight, it must pay out that money tonight. The money cannot be rolled over.
The pools companies cannot hold back 10 per cent. for a big jackpot every three months. That would be an absolute bonanza. Why are they prohibited from doing that when the national lottery will be allowed to do it? The Government are supposed to believe in free enterprise and the free market, yet they are virtually setting up a nationalised industry, to which they will grant enormous advantages at the expense of private industries.
What is wrong with the pools companies advertising on television? There is no logical reason for stopping them doing that. Why are they not allowed to have the same sales outlets? There is no logical reason for that. The Government and the potential franchisees are scared stiff that if the pools companies obtain a level playing field and freedom to operate they will take the national lottery to 744 the cleaners. Those are the secrets in the report. For political reasons the Government dare not take a chance on the national lottery being a flop. If it is, they will again have egg on their face and they do not want that.
Perhaps I should declare an interest as I am a director —unpaid—of Sheffield Wednesday football club. Indeed, it costs money to be a director of a football club. I should explain how the Football Trust came about. When I first came to the House, Denis Howell was the Minister responsible for sport. The very first Committee of which I was a member considered the Horserace Betting Levy Bill. The then Labour Government decided to take 8 per cent. tax on every bet and give the money to the tracks. No one was going to the tracks, so they could not afford prize money. That meant that people could not afford to run race horses or breed them. Horse racing was going down the pan because of the introduction of betting offices and television. The betting offices were set up so that the Government could tax them.
When I was a lad a bookie used to stand on every street corner in every working-class area. He would wear a big mack with a pocket that went all the way around. He stuffed the bets in that pocket and then paid out that evening in the billiard hall, the pub or whatever. The bookie's runner would watch for the punters and they would go off down the street and hide in somebody's toilet.
Selwyn Lloyd was very smart and said, "There is a lot of money to be made. If we legalise that sort of betting we can bring in at least £500 million." That was a mammoth amount of money at that time, so that was what the Labour Government did. It worked marvellously. Then, the Labour Government said that if they could do that with horse racing, they could do it with football.
In the Ibrox disaster 65 people were killed. In later years, 95 people were killed at Hillsborough. There was a fire at Bradford and 57 people died. The Heysel stadium is not in Britain, but 37 more people were killed there. In just over 10 years of football disasters more than 200 people were killed. After the Ibrox disaster, the pools companies were scared stiff that a levy would be imposed on them just as it had been imposed on horse racing, so they volunteered to hand over some cash. They went to Denis Howell in 1974—I was his parliamentary private secretary at the time—and volunteered to pay for improvements to football grounds. Since that day, they have provided the money for 70 per cent. of all football ground improvements. That is part of the reason for the current row. It is not just about jobs at the pools companies, but the mammoth number of jobs created through building work on football grounds.
Following the Hillsborough disaster, Lord Justice Taylor said that every football stadium had to be all-seater. That involves a mammoth amount of work. The former Secretary of State for National Heritage, the right hon. and learned Member for Putney (Mr. Mellor), exempted the two lower divisions. We were grateful for that because there was no way in which the costs of that work could be met. The Government said that the work to make the stadiums all-seater had to be completed by 1994, so there are just two more summers in which that work can he done. It cannot be done in the playing season because the cranes cannot go on to the pitch.
That necessary safety work is being paid for indirectly by the pools companies. If the pools are knocked sideways, the money spent on the necessary safety work at football grounds will disappear. That work creates hundreds of 745 thousands of jobs. For example, Arsenal is building a new stand costing £2.5 million, as is Manchester United. Leeds is spending £2 million and Sheffield Wednesday £1.5 million. The list is endless. An enormous amount of building work is under way because 200 people have been killed in a decade. That is one reason why many of us are saying strongly that the pools companies should not be hampered. We are concerned not just about the Liverpool jobs, but about many other jobs and a great deal of development. The Government's policy is inconsistent. They have ordered the football clubs to build all-seater stadiums while saying that the funding for that will be cut off at source.
There are many questions that the Secretary of State has not answered. We asked them in the Select Committee and he hid behind the cloak of confidentiality. How can the report be kept confidential? Any potential franchisee making a bid will need to lay out about £80 million to install computerised paying-in equipment in shops and so on. They are not allowed to operate the lottery from pubs, which will cost them a lot of money. How could any franchisee take on the job without seeing the report? If potential franchisees can see the report, the House is entitled to see it. We should see it before we make up our minds about the Bill. It is not too late to show it to the Committee. It is imperative that before the House makes a major decision it is allowed to see the report.
§ Mr. David Mellor (Putney)
I am pleased to join my right hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker) in congratulating my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on introducing the Bill. It is not a trivial matter to introduce a national lottery. It requires an enormous amount of work not only to get the legal framework right, but to implement it and to ensure that proper arrangements exist to administer and regulate it. That has required an enormous amount of effort in a very short time from a new Department. I congratulate my right hon. Friend, my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary, and all those who have worked for them on the Bill
Although I am starting my speech before 6 pm, I intend to honour the 10–minute rule because so many other hon. Members wish to speak. I also bear in mind that Sir Patrick Hastings, a leading defence counsel, once said, "If you have to address the jury for more than 10 minutes, you have too much to explain away." I shall try to be brief.
I commend what my right hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley said because he mentioned a number of points that concern me. I was one of those who were sceptical for a long time about a national lottery. I was certainly not the first to be converted to the idea. My eventual reason for supporting it was not just that Albania had shuffled off into the ranks of national lottery countries and we were therefore the only country in Europe without one. I had a rather more substantive reason based on my experience as Minister for the Arts, Secretary of State for National Heritage and Chief Secretary to the Treasury. The Government had honoured their commitments to a host of potential beneficiaries of the lottery—for example, the Government are spending three times as much in real terms on the arts than was spent in the days of Jennie Lee, commendable though that start was. There will always be huge areas of our sporting infrastructure, arts and heritage that cannot be developed by conventional Government 746 funding. I am an unashamed advocate of state funding and I am proud of the fact that in the two years that I was either Minister for the Arts or Chief Secretary to the Treasury the grant to the Arts Council increased by nearly 30 per cent. I always felt that there was a need for an even greater quantum leap.
I suspect that those previous two years were not of great assistance to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. I dare say that the Treasury argued, "The arts did so well in the last two years, now that the going is getting a bit tough they should suffer a little now." Whatever we say about the detail of the Bill, most of us are here to debate it because we care about certain aspects of our national life and want them enhanced and advanced.
I have reached the settled conclusion that only a national lottery can achieve that, but, before we embark on that course, we must look at the small print and need to be rigorous in our thinking about one or two aspects.
I make no apology for repeating two points—one of which was rightly raised by the hon. Member for Cynon Valley (Mrs. Clwyd) and followed up by my right hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley, because here is where the bodies are potentially buried. I want my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to know that he has considerable support from the Conservative Benches in his efforts to beat off some of the host of unenlightenment within the Government's ranks.
In a speech as Home Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for the Valley of the Moles—that always sounds more interesting than Mole Valley—delivered these ringing and entirely appropriate sentences:I must emphasise that this will be additional funding. The Government do not intend that the money provided from the lottery should substitute for existing expenditure programmes."—[Official Report, 6 March 1992; Vol. 205, col. 563.]The only basis on which I—as someone who cares about the arts and sport—could possibly commend to the many bodies that want the national lottery that it will be a good thing for this country is if that undertaking is honoured to the letter. I believe that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State repeated the words of my right hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley, but there was an interruption at that point.
I hope that it will be made clear that both my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and my hon. Friend the Minister have beaten off any attempt by the Treasury to behave like barrack-room lawyers and put an entirely false gloss on the words of my right hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley. Having been a Treasury Minister, I know that my right hon. and hon. Friends have a jolly difficult job to do.
Those who care about the arts and heritage will be buying a pig in a poke unless it is made clear that national lottery income will not be subtracted from existing state commitments. I appreciate that if a body is looking for a large increase in arts funding from the Government, it is plainly material—when weighing up other priorities—whether or not that interest is already receiving money from the national lottery, which may be a reason for any increase in state funding not being so great. It is important that the Government do not attempt to slough off responsibility by having a national lottery.
The lottery will only be worth something if it provides a quantum leap forward for the interests in question. Otherwise, I do not think that we need it.
§ Mr. Mellor
I will be in trouble with my 10 minutes. It is not that I will not give way, but many right hon. and hon. Members want to make a contribution—and I want to try to keep at least one promise as a politician.
As to taxation, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State set it out very well. Of the proceeds from the lottery, 50 per cent. will go in prize money. That is the international average and there is no reason to go below that figure. A further 15 per cent. will go on administration. That is pretty good—if the figure can be kept down to that, we shall have done pretty well. My rudimentary 0 level in mathematics produces a total of 65 per cent. leaving 35 per cent.
If the Treasury honours the undertakings on public expenditure made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and my right hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley when Home Secretary, I would not disagree with the Treasury having a revenue base. However, there is no point to our putting before the public a national lottery that is intended to raise money for good causes and then expect the public to swallow the fact that the principal good cause is the Treasury. For all that the Treasury believes itself to be a socially beneficial organisation, the truth is that many people would take some persuading of that.
I hope that the issue is not being shrouded in Budget secrecy—a concept that I believe is long overdue for change, now that Treasury omniscience is perhaps no longer as credible as it once was. I hope also that the question of the tax base will be open to collective discussion. If the tax is 20 per cent. and, after all the fuss and bother of helping good causes, the contribution falls to 15 per cent.—3 per cent. of the total take for the five categories—many will begin to wonder whether it is worth pushing this boulder uphill just to achieve that—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] I say that in clear terms and I am glad that I am not alone in marking those cards. I hope that my view will be shared not only by my right hon. and hon. Friends but across the House.
I endorse the remarks of the hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton)—for whom, as he knows, I have a high regard—about the work of the Football Trust. As someone who cares about football, I know how much good it has done. I mention also the Foundation for Sport and the Arts, which has proved valuable. Provided that the pools companies' proposals take the form of an agrave la carte and not a table d'h"ocircte menu—in other words, one can pick a dish or two without having to sample the whole lot—I am sure that, in the sensible accommodations that we make in the House, it should be possible to reach some form of agreement.
I enjoy the warmest friendships with a number of people in the pools industry and I believe that it will flourish as part of the warp and weft of the British way of doing things. However, I do not believe that the pools can be put on the same level or platform as the national lottery. The whole idea of having such a lottery is that it is something special. It is not meant to be a way of assassinating the gatekeeper or the controls of gambling so that other forms of gambling can come through and be subject to the same concessions.
Those of us who appreciate irony, as I have had to do in my career, now know that the champions of private 748 enterprise are to be found on the Labour Benches, while my right hon. and hon. Friends are arguing for some public good. It is a funny old world. I am not original in saying that, but it is a funny old world.
Let us not take matters too far. By all means let us stick up for the pools, but they cannot be equated with the national lottery. It would be an awful shame if the great vision of a national lottery were borne down by a tidal wave of special pleading for the pools, however firmly based, by certain regional interests.
When I was originally rather resistant to the idea of a national lottery, it seemed to me that so many people would want to benefit from one, and that so many vested interests would not want it to be an all-singing, all-dancing show, that we would end up with some half-hearted effort. It would be like the prototype steam vehicle. To keep it safe and to ensure no other interests were damaged, a man had to walk along in front, carrying a red flag.
If there emerges from this parliamentary process a half-hearted, apologetic scheme that has been so amended and subject to so many restrictions that it cannot do the business and raise money, let us not bother with it. After all, we have all those exciting nights ahead on the Maastricht Bill, so why trouble ourselves with another exercise in futility? We have already spent hours debating, on Maastricht, something that the public have forgotten about—but that is another story. Since I do not intend to participate in that debate, why should I not say so?
If we will a national lottery, let us will an effective mechanism that will raise hundreds of millions of pounds —perhaps even billions. It will then be something of which we can be proud and which will make better provision for the cultural and sporting fabric of our society. We all know that that is long overdue—and if the Bill will achieve that, I am all for it.
§ Mr. Robert Maclennan (Caithness and Sutherland)
I am particularly glad to follow the right hon. and learned Member for Putney (Mr. Mellor), who is the third right hon. Member to speak from the Conservative Benches apparently intent on lifting the spirits of the nation with a Bill to enhance our funds.
I remind the right hon. Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker) that a similar idea crossed the mind of Nero, who was the last Roman emperor to introduce a lottery. One can exaggerate the excitement that is felt outside, throughout the country, at the prospect of another source of that which the Secretary of State described as another deposit for marginal disposable income, at a time when marginal disposable income sometimes means the difference between being hungry and not. That is particularly harshly felt by those out of work. I cannot improve on what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton) about the complete lack of amusement on Merseyside that greeted the Bill's publication and its presentation to Parliament; but I doubt that there is any joy either on the streets of Cardiff, Glasgow or London, where many thousands of workers may be at risk of losing their jobs.
The Secretary of State described the Bill as forward looking. That claim is pretty rich. The right hon. Gentleman himself pointed out that the House last considered this matter seriously in 1826, and I suppose that the heyday of the national lottery was the 18th 749 century: the possibilities of abuse were considerable then —possibilities that no doubt led the Secretary of State to go about the process in such a bureaucratic way. The Bill provides for the establishment of at least three new quangos for the purpose of distributing the unaquantified funds, as well as a regulatory agency.
The Bill is a powerful source of patronage for the Secretary of State, who will have not only the power to appoint people to all those bodies but the power to intervene and decide how the funds are to be spent. Let us not hear much more about the Government's protecting the arms-length principle. In clause 24—which has already been mentioned—the Secretary of State takes explicit power to direct funding bodies' spending, and to wind up those bodies if they do not do what he tells them to do.
When the Department of National Heritage was set up, many people expressed the fear that it would become involved in precisely this kind of intervention in spending. I strongly supported the notion of a Cabinet Minister's having responsibility for the arts, and speaking up for them against other Departments that might be supported more powerfully in the House. This, however, may be the thin end of the wedge. Is the Secretary of State going to meddle with the priorities of arts spending? The powers conferred by the Bill are very sweeping.
§ Mr. Maclennan
I shall follow the example of the right hon. and learned Member for Putney, and not give way. Although I may prove to be the only Liberal Democrat who is called to speak, I want to be as brief as possible.
The Bill is unfortunate evidence of a willingness to meddle. The Secretary of State said that it would set up a major new industry; I question that. Certainly, it will create a number of jobs associated with the distribution of lottery tickets, and it may supplement the income of some small shopkeepers to a valuable extent. I am bound to add, however, that, when a Government are driven to describe the establishment of a lottery as a major new industry, we realise how far this great trading nation has fallen from its peak.
The most striking feature of the Secretary of State's speech, however, was not what he said but what he did not say. We heard not a word about the amount that the lottery is likely to raise. Surely we are entitled to know how much the good causes referred to can reasonably expect from this new social departure. We should bear in mind the involvement of people such as Lord Palumbo. I am reminded of the dogs in the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, whose eyes grew as large as saucers at the very thought of the gold that was about to drop into their laps. Those good causes have a right to know the Government's best estimate, at least. That, of course, may be one of the matters touched on by the inquiry whose activities have been kept from the House's attention so sedulously—an inquiry initiated by the Government.
This does matter. I had the advantage of talking to at least one of the companies that will no doubt bid for the franchise, perhaps in partnership with a number of others. The estimate given to me was £500 million in the first year: a not inconsiderable sum, certainly, but a great deal less than the amounts mentioned by Ministers earlier—for instance, the sums mentioned before the election by the right hon. Member for Mole Valley.
§ Mr. Maclennan
That is a matter of speculation. The amounts are likely to increase; but the question is put into perspective by the arithmetic outlined by the right hon. and learned Member for Putney, which suggest that only about 15 per cent. of £500 million would be left to distribute. He is right to focus on the uncertainties surrounding the value of the lottery—matters on which only the Government are adequately informed.
National lotteries cannot be said to have been great money spinners the world over. In some countries they have provided a useful top-up for taxation—they are, in any case, a form of voluntary tax—but they have not been able to bear a very large burden. The Secretary of State, indeed, failed to refer to the issue of taxation—not only the amount, but the mechanism. It is crucial to an evaluation of the virtues, or otherwise, of the proposal to know the Government's attitude. They would not be giving away a Budget secret: we have no idea how much the lottery will raise, in terms of quantity, but there need be no Budget secrecy about percentages. If the Secretary of State told us that the amount raised would be only 5 per cent.—which is at the lower end of what the arts and sport worlds would like—we might view the matter very differently. It seems more likely that the amount will be about 20 per cent., which would reduce the value of the sum distributed to a questionable level.
The right hon. and learned Member for Putney referred to additionality. That crucial issue has not been laid to rest by paragraph 41 of the White Paper, which the Secretary of State mentioned earlier. The Secretary of State knows that the Treasury will never give a lasting undertaking of that kind; it will be a reason to reduce the core funding of sport, the arts and other good causes. Indeed, it may explain why the right hon. Gentleman did relatively badly in the autumn spending round, compared with the right hon. and learned Member for Putney. Perhaps the national lottery is already overhanging his Department, accounting for the reduction in spending—not just in real terms, but in cash terms—made available to the arts since he became Secretary of State.
Like the right hon. and learned Member for Putney, I was originally deeply sceptical about the proposal; I remain deeply sceptical. I believe that people's desire for the large sums that are expected to be generated has clouded their sense about the prospects. Hope has defeated their judgment. I am afraid that this enabling Bill, widely drawn, does little to set at rest the scepticism and doubts that my colleagues and I have about it.
We are concerned about the social impact of lotteries. The evidence is not conclusive but there is certainly good evidence in the United States that expenditure on lotteries is broadly flat across the different income groups. Therefore, it is felt more keenly by those on low incomes. I suspect that that is one of the reasons why the churches have spoken with such strong voices against the very concept of a lottery as a means of raising money.
One does not have to accept, however, that view of lotteries in general to doubt the wisdom of the Bill. The right hon. Member for Mole Valley said that this measure is job-positive. It will certainly not be job positive on Merseyside, where the football pools are bound to be affected by it. The Government have admitted that. It is not job positive, either, in the sense that money that is put into the national lottery would otherwise have been spent or saved. At best, the effect will be neutral across the economy as a whole. Spare marginal disposable income is 751 normally spent on goods and services, which provide jobs. The argument that this measure could be job-positive is threadbare. It should not detain the House for a moment.
The virtue, if any, of this measure is that it would enable great projects of state to be undertaken which would not otherwise be undertaken. It is interesting to note that the two examples in support of the Bill to which the Secretary of State referred did not depend upon lotteries. Both the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the Festival of Britain of 1951 did not depend upon lotteries. They were a reflection of popular will. The Festival of Britain reflected the Labour Government's determination that this country should put its best foot forward, with the support of the taxpayer, in a progressive, not regressive, way. The benefits of that expenditure are to be seen to this day.
I regret the fact that the Government have introduced the Bill. Whatever merits there may be in a lottery, the Bill is too open and leaves too many questions unanswered. It will have a devastating effect on employment in areas of high unemployment. It offers too little to those who are intended to be its beneficiaries. Charities have rightly expressed deep concern about the Bill. The national lottery will compete with their activities in exactly those areas where they cannot be protected. I do not know how the charitable organisation that is to distribute the funds will operate, but the people who go round with their tins collecting money on behalf of small charities will not benefit from those funds. The Bill does not deserve a Second Reading.
§ Mr. Richard Tracey (Surbiton)
After the dour speech by the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan), it is probably just as well that the suggestion has been made that a national lottery will cheer people up. I believe, together with 75 per cent. of the British people, that the time has come for a national lottery. This country has already had a national lottery. The British museum was built with the funds from a national lottery. I hope that those on the Opposition Benches who have sympathy for museums will remember that point. However, that lottery came to an end. It is our duty to bring back a national lottery as we approach 2000.
Research shows that there are about 170 lotteries in 130 countries. We must not lag behind all those other nations, including the United States. We must have a national lottery. My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Putney (Mr. Mellor) referred to the fact that even Albania now runs a national lottery. [Interruption.] Those hon. Members with Merseyside constituencies jeer at what I say, but why should we lag behind Albania?
§ Mr. Tracey
No. I want to have my full 10 minutes. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will have the opportunity to say more later.
The 1978 Royal Commission on Gambling said that it believed that it was an extremely good idea to raise funds for good causes by means of a lottery. I have already referred to the fact that, according to market research, 75 per cent. of the population want to participate in a national lottery. Some Labour party Members appear to 752 be going against the grain of public opinion. However, the hon. Members for Vauxhall (Ms. Hoey) and for Newham, North-West (Mr. Banks) were, with me, sponsors of the private Member's Bill that was introduced a few months ago by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Burton (Sir I. Lawrence). Unfortunately, they are not here today to express their views. It surprised many of my hon. Friends and I that after what the Labour party said earlier last year it did not include a national lottery in its general election manifesto. Perhaps there are lessons to be drawn from that.
§ Mr. Tracey
My hon. and learned Friend may be right about that. The British public will have drawn their own conclusions.
Several speakers have already pointed out that it is unlikely that any Government would be able to provide, from public resources, all the money that hon. Members want to be provided for sport, the arts, the national heritage and charities. Conflicting claims are put to the Treasury for money for health, education and so on. They push further down the queue the claims for money for the arts, sport and the national heritage. I have experience of that problem. When I was Under-Secretary of State with special responsibility for sport I visited countries where lotteries and pools existed side by side. Magnificent stadia were constructed with those resources. I saw swimming pools, running tracks, velodromes and gymnasia that had been built with money that had not been provided by the state.
Let us not forget that Manchester is bidding to host the Olympic games. The fact that some hon. Members have said today that a national lottery is not needed will be taken by some people to mean that this country will be unable to provide the facilities that will be required if Manchester is to host the Olympic games. A national lottery is essential to fund the facilities that will be necessary.
Other hon. Members will no doubt speak more eloquently than I can about the need for expenditure from the lottery on our heritage. In other countries, a lottery has funded arts facilities, of which the Sydney opera house is a classic example. Such facilities can never be funded only by the Government from the national Exchequer or by worthy organisations such as the Foundation for Sport and the Arts. The size of expenditure is such that it can be met only by a national lottery.
As a former sports Minister, I have much affection for the pools and for the work that they have done with the football grounds improvement trust and the Football Trust. I should not wish to see the pools jeopardised by a national lottery. I do not believe that the pools will be jeopardised, because market research shows that 92 per cent. of people who contribute to the pools wish to contribute to a national lottery. Only 8 per cent. said that they would withdraw their contribution to the pools and spend it on the national lottery.
For the benefit of Labour Members who have taken rather a negative view of the national lottery, I shall conclude with the comments of somebody who was respected by Opposition Members as a spokesman on sport, the noble Lord Howell. He said:I appeal to my hon. Friends to stop saying … that it is either pools or the lottery but not both. That is a mistaken 753 approach. It is political advice and I hope that the House will see the common sense in accepting the Rothschild royal commission's recommendation of 14 years ago and proceed to a national lottery which the sports, arts and heritage of this country desperately need if we are to expand and promote their interests."—[Official Report, 17 January 1992; Vol. 201, c. 1246.]It is a pity that the noble Lord is not with his colleagues this afternoon to say those words once again.
§ Madam Deputy Speaker
Order. Before we continue, I remind the House that the 10–minute limit on speeches will start now and last until 8 o'clock.
§ 6.3 pm
§ Mr. Thomas Graham (Renfrew, West and Inverclyde)
Not long ago I spoke in opposition to the National Lottery Bill, a private Member's Bill, and my opposition has increased since. Since that time, hundreds of thousands of people have been made unemployed, yet today the Minister said that the Bill will create jobs.
I am sponsored by the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, which represents most of the workers in the pools industry. It estimates that the industry directly employs 6,500 people and more than 70,000 people part time in places such as Merseyside, Strathclyde, Cardiff and London. Given the level of unemployment in those areas —I can speak passionately about the problems that unemployment has inflicted on Strathclyde and the poverty that our people are suffering from because of the Government's policies—every job is worth fighting for.
I would hold up the attitude of the pools companies to many employers as a good model. The Littlewoods factory in Scotland recently burnt down, but within a short time its 650 workers were relocated to a factory in my constituency and were able to continue to earn their living. They have now returned to a new building in the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley, North (Mrs. Adams), and I am delighted to say that they are fully employed in that area of deep depression. Those jobs are more than welcome. The industry employs 6,500 women, who receive a reasonable wage: the minimum is just under £5 an hour. That money is most welcome to families in Strathclyde.
Britain is one of the worst gambling nations in the world. It is unbelievable that the Government wish to use the lottery to raise revenue. If people outside believe the Minister when he tells them that buying a lottery ticket is not a gamble, they must be nutters, but my constituents are not nut cases; they know what gambling is.
It is suggested that ordinary people who are living in poverty, many of whom live on benefit, will aim for the pipedream of being the one in 6 million who win. What a way of getting out of deprivation and poverty. Some estimates suggest that they will spend £2 from the pittance that they receive in benefit. The Government are encouraging those people by offering them a pipedream that is unrealisable. Two pounds buys four tins of beans in Asda at 75p. The local shop in my area sells a dozen eggs for 78p and two loves of bread for 78p. That is a good breakfast for a poor family—eggs, beans and bread. The Government want to encourage people to buy a lottery ticket—but for what?
I am not opposed to arts, culture and sport, which are important, but the Government should fund them through direct taxation rather than taking the cheap, shoddy road 754 of a lottery. The Government should not take pot luck and gamble with people's futures, and they certainly should not gamble with the jobs of the 6,500 people who are employed directly in the pools industry. I have heard many comments today, and we can all play the numbers game, but the numbers game that matters to me is the 6,500 people who are employed in the pools industry.
There is no question but that the Bill will lead to substantial redundancies. More than 1,000 redundancies are suggested in the Government's secret report. It is such a secret that everybody knows about it! I wish that the Government had given it to us so that we could have discussed it further.
The Bill is back-door nationalisation. The Government say that they believe in privatisation, yet they are nationalising a private industry, but for what I honestly do not know.
Someone sent me the Scottish Sports Council's document, "A Golden Opportunity for Scotland". What a deep insult that is to almost 650 people who are now facing the dole because of the proposed lottery. I have examined that document and its contents did not surprise me because most quangos have Tory placemen anyway. That frightens the life out of me because in Scotland most of us who are Labour, Liberal or even SNP minded are not on any boards, so the quangos carry on in their merry way, promoting Tory policy.
The document mentions a golden opportunity, a bonanza for the arts and a restorative revenue for our heritage. People in my constituency do not live in castles; they do not go to the ballet and cannot afford to go to the opera—they find it difficult enough to survive in this day and age without seeing unnecessary revenue going to support such activities. I have nothing against Windsor castle—it is terrible that it burnt down but £50 million is to be spent on it. I am not against the Lord of Argyll receiving a pittance, but heritage money is being spent on places that already receive money. Quangos consist of Government placemen, so they do not represent the democratic view and do not offer the democratic right to be heard.
I sincerely wonder what we shall get when the lottery quangos are established. Shall we see Jimmy Tarbuck, the comedian of the Tory party, Kenny "blow 'em and nuke 'em" Everett, or Ken Dodd who is such an expert on money matters? Shall we have one of the greatest fiddlers in Great Britain, the superb Yehudi Menuhin—I do not mean that as an insult—or will Gazza the great footballer kick it off, as he is also a Tory? Will Tessa Sanderson be throwing the javelin? I am sure that the Prime Minister would love to have Clive Lloyd, the cricketer, doing a wee spot, and Bruno punching a few dots here and there to help the draw. Perhaps Cilia Black could host a blind date to win £1 million—she was the woman who said that the Tories would put the "great" back into Great Britain. Is the national lottery the way to do that? What an insult!
Many organisations have written to me on the subject. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations said:Low income households, on the experience of the Irish National Lottery, are likely to have a higher than average participation rate and unless the allocation formula reflects social need the National Lottery may take disproportionate sums.That means that the low-income folk will be the most involved. USDAW knows its business and states:
755The National Lottery is wrong in principle. We believe that the introduction of a National Lottery is undesirable in principle both as a regressive form of consumption tax and an impulsive and potentially addictive form of gambling.So far all we have heard from the Government are the so-called benefits of the lottery. Meanwhile, Ministers have refused to publish their own research, which shows that more than 1,000 jobs will be lost following its introduction. The pools companies themselves have estimated that about 4,000 on-site jobs will be lost in the first year and a further 750 in the second year, leaving only 1,175—
§ Rev. Ian Paisley (Antrim, North)
I have listened carefully to the debate and have noted what has been said. Time is short, but I refer to the fact that we have been told that a national lottery will increase the income of charities. Some hon. Members were holding up the Irish hospitals sweepstakes as an example, telling us of the benefits to the Irish Republic. However, that flies in the face of the facts. There is evidence that, back in the 1930s, the Irish hospitals sweepstakes caused many hospitals hardship because they resulted in a decline in charitable giving which contributed to running costs while sweepstakes money was available only for concrete projects. In response to the Government, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations said that recent evidence from Ireland, where the national lottery has been running since 1987, suggests that 10 per cent. of money spent on the lottery was at the expense of charities' fund raising, with a further 60 per cent. decline in the sale of charitable lottery tickets. If the introduction of a national lottery here had similar effects, there could be a loss to charities of between £267 million and £395 million.
I resent it being said that giving to charities was declining in Northern Ireland because, in fact, giving is increasing in Northern Ireland although we are in a terrible recession. It is nonsense to say that charities will benefit greatly from the lottery. Charities are raising a hue and cry because they know that it will tell against them.
We were also told that the lottery would be a good way of giving, but if only 25 per cent. of what is given goes to charity, that is not such a good way of giving. Certainly people in Ballymena where I come from would not think that it was a good way of giving. I see that the Secretary of State is smiling because he has some experience of how Ballymena thinks—it is called the Aberdeen of Northern Ireland and I am proud to represent it.
We are also told that we cannot raise the necessary money through taxation, but the lottery is a tax—let us get that perfectly clear. It is a tax across the board. I refer again to Ireland—which people participate most in lotteries there? The answer is, the unemployed, because it holds before them something which they can never attain. It is terrible that the Government should apparently be placing the possibility of great riches within people's grasp. By doing so, the Government foment discontent with one's present standard of living. Far from promotng harder 756 work, it will encourage consumer debt which, at the moment, stands at £56 billion in the United Kingdom. What will it be when the lottery is established?
To me, however, they are peripheral points. I am opposed to the principle of gambling. I do not believe that one should offer people something that they could not attain by exercising the proper work ethic. After wide experience in pastoral work for more than 40 years, I know something of the results of gambling. Last year I said:The desire and aim to get money without doing the equivalent of necessary work strikes at the heart of the well-being of mankind. The man who works for what he gets is happy and contented. He is not shadowed with the frustration, disappointment, tension, agony and remorse of the gambler. A trade and occupation are ennobling things. They bring out, to the best advantage, the talents and energies of the individual. Anything that debases those talents and energies and puts them to a wrong use is not good for a personor for the nation as a whole. I continued:Gambling tells against domestic happiness. The charms of the home do not satisfy the person caught up in this craze: he wants louder laughter, something to win or lose and excitement to drive the heart faster, fillip the blood and fire the imagination."—[Official Report, 17 January 1992; Vol. 201, c. 1243.]It is terrible that we as a nation are going to sponsor gambling, to spend money to create the appetite for gambling and to encourage people who perhaps have never indulged before. I think that it was the Secretary of State who said that everyone could have a flutter. Some of those who have fluttered have broken wings and some of us have had to pick up the broken wings and the broken homes.
We are certainly going down the wrong road when we reverse what the nation decided almost 200 years ago. It is a retrograde step and I will not vote to give the Bill a Second Reading.
§ Mr. Peter Kilfoyle (Liverpool, Walton)
I hope that when the Minister sums up later, he will do two things. First, will he confirm that there is an intergovernmental agreement within the European Community to prevent the legitimate sale of other countries' lottery tickets? Secondly, will he explain how 1,000 jobs would be created in the lottery when the West German lottery is run by 140 to 150 people?
For good reasons, there is disquiet among hon. Members of all parties about the Bill. There is the threat to jobs, there is the danger to charities and there is the anxiety, felt by many, about the Government's promotion of gambling. The Government argue that the lottery is a good thing and that it will create a bonaza for good causes while causing minimal problems in other areas, such as the pools industry.
Underpinning the Government's case has been the argument that a national lottery is merely harmless entertainment. It is so harmless that over the past 300 years countless hours have been spent in the House debating the merits or otherwise of lotteries. The debate began in 1698, it resumed in 1716, it resulted in the Lotteries Act 1823, it resumed in the various debates in this century, including the debate on the National Lottery Bill last year, and it continues today.
Throughout those debates, Governments have seen a lottery as a source of revenue and as a means of controlling 757 gambling without stimulating any new gambling. Opponents always question the ethical probity of lotteries and see them at best as a form of regressive taxation.
I have read through the debates and I was reminded of the contortions of the Chancellor of the Exchequer on black Wednesday. Bearing that in mind, it is worth paraphrasing the question that was put in the House by William Parnell during the debate on the national lottery on 4 May 1819. Do Ministers themselves gamble? If not, why do they recommend to others that which they have rejected?
A lottery is, without doubt, gambling and I am glad that the Secretary of State confirmed that today. Research has shown that the lottery will be funded primarily by the C2, D and E social classes. A report by London Economics shows that those at the bottom of the socio-economic scale have one third less participation than average in sport and only half the average participation in the arts. Conversely, socio-economic classes A, B and C1 have one third more participation than average in sport and twice the average participation in the arts. Research in Ireland shows, as the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) said, that it is the unemployed who disproportionatley subsidise the lottery. It it is the poor paying, in effect, for the distractions of the rich.
It is appropriate to read a quotation from George Orwell's "1984" which was sent to me in the post. The quotation reads:The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention.I assume that we are the proles. The quotation continues:
It was probable that there were some millions of proles for whom the lottery was the principal, if not the only reason, for staying alive. It was their delight, their folly, the anodyne, their intellectual stimulant.Orwell's idea is not as fanciful as it seems. Anyone who has seen Spain during the draw of E1 Gordo—the big one—knows how people can be besotted with a lottery when huge prizes are involved. Hon. Members should go to Australia and watch prime time Saturday night television when Australia's National Lotto prize is drawn. It is the focus of society. Similar phenomena are observed anywhere where there are huge prizes. It becomes a preoccupation. That does not mean that we are philistines or anti-gambling. The point is that Governments should not stimulate more gambling.
Illusions should not be fostered by any responsible Government. The notion that people can be distracted from the realities of their lives by such disingenuous promotion is worrying. The Government have repeatedly used the definition of a lottery being harmless entertainment.
There is no doubt that a national lottery as envisaged would destroy thousands of jobs, mainly women's jobs, in the pools industry. In country after country, it has been shown that the pools industry cannot co-exist with a national lottery. In the minority of cases in which it has, the reason has been that the Government have allowed both a level playing field, including in terms of the tax regime.
Research was commissioned by the European Commission—not by the pools industry—and carried out by Coopers and Lybrand. I have confirmation of its findings from the manager, Mr. Frank McFadden. The report concluded that the introduction of a national lottery in the United Kingdom
758would effectively kill off the football pools within weeks.The lottery would directly affect the jobs of more than 4,600 people in my area and the jobs of another 2,000 elsewhere. It also affects the 70,000 part-time collectors, the printers, the suppliers and others. It is not only those involved in the pools industry who fear for their jobs. 'We must bear in in mind the fears of the Betting Office Licensees Association, the Lotteries Council and many charities who fear for the future of their employees if the national lottery is introduced, especially in its present form.
All that we can get from the Government are vague promises about jobs. The lottery will be operated by a few hundred people at the potential cost of thousands of jobs. The way in which the Government could cater for the pools industry would be to offer the level playing field of the same trading conditions for the pools as for the national lottery. We all know why the Government are reluctant to do that.
I have no doubt about the reason for the Government's reluctance. We have only to look at the Rothschild submission to the Government on the national lottery to see that there is no way in which the pools and the national lottery could co-exist. The Rothschild submission refers to a more intrusive, but lighter regime. It means favoured treatment for the national lottery for it to be able to compete against a well-established and efficient pools industry. I can only conclude that there is a straight choice between the pools and the lottery.
It is ironic that the Government intend to intervene on behalf of nationalised gambling and are willing to ignore the wishes of private enterprise in this case. The Government can take that step only by characterising the lottery as harmless entertainment and by characterising the pools as gambling. That device is also lifted straight from the Rothschild report.
It is clear that the income of charities will be devastated by the lottery. The research in Ireland has been referred to by other speakers today and it was used in the submission by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. The research shows that 10 per cent. of the money spent on the lottery is at the expense of the income of charities. A £1.5 billion lottery turnover would cost charities £150 million. Yet that same £1.5 billion turnover, untaxed, would provide £525 million for good causes, of which £105 million would be for charities. That is a net loss of £45 million. Only an outrageous optimist envisages no taxation on a lottery.
Let us suppose that the taxation rate was 20 per cent., as mentioned by the right hon. and learned Member for Putney (Mr. Mellor). Let us take a notional £1 investment in the national lottery. Incidentally, no country in Europe has a tax rate below 25.7 per cent., which is the figure for France. The average tax rate is 29.5 per cent., so we are being generous in assuming that the rate would be 20 per cent.
Of that £1, 50p would go back into prizes. Some 15p would go on operating costs and some 20p would go in tax. That would leave 15p of the orginal £1 to be divided among five good causes. Somebody who made a donation of £1 to the national lottery to make a donation towards his favourite charity would end up by giving it 3p. That is not a fair deal. It is far better that the money should go to a charity of people's choice without being reduced and without the reduction, which I foresee, in personal 759 commitment to charitable giving. Such giving will be reduced to the level of gambling and that gambling will be done with a stacked deck.
Given that the Government will tax lottery income, how will other sources of funds be affected? What will be the effect, for example, on the local authorities' discretionary support for the voluntary sector? As they are squeezed more and more by central Government, is it not sensible to understand their view that perhaps the voluntary sector would be a prime area for cuts?
As I have now run out of time, I will conclude by referring to a written reply that appeared on 16 March 1992 at column 789 of Hansard in which the Prime Minister confirmed the view of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs that demand for gambling should not be stimulated. However, the White Paper demanded that the national lottery should be widely advertised and socially acceptable.
§ Mr. Toby Jessel (Twickenham)
The hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Kilfoyle) said that the national lottery would kill off the football pools within weeks. With respect to him, I do not believe that for a moment. I, for one, would take tickets in a national lottery; but I never bet on the football pools. I am sure that the same would apply to millions of our fellow citizens.
I strongly support the Bill, and I warmly congratulate my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for National Heritage and my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for National Heritage on taking this important and positive action which will bring tremendous benefits to the arts, heritage, sports and charities.
I want also to congratulate my right hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker), who basically worked the whole thing out with his White Paper a year ago. I also congratulate my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Burton (Sir I. Lawrence), who introduced a private Member's Bill which had a tremendous impact on the House. I know that my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Burton will not mind if I bracket with his name that of our former colleague and former Member for Hyndburn, Ken Hargreaves.
My interest lies first and foremost in the arts and heritage. I believe that we must, as a country, build on our strengths, and the arts and heritage are one of the great strengths, not only because they fulfil and enrich the lives of our people, but because of the volume of employment that they generate, partly as a result of people visiting this country from abroad.
People visit the United Kingdom, not for our weather, but for our arts and heritage; for our theatres, opera, ballet and concerts; for our museums, art galleries and art auctions. They come to visit our historic houses and royal palaces such as Hampton court, which is in my constituency. They come to visit our cathederals, abbeys and churches—
§ Mr. Jessel
And, indeed, they come to hear military band concerts at Kneller hall.
760 They come to see our villages, historic towns and our countryside. They come also to see something of our monarchy, ceremonies and our tradition.
When people visit this country, they spend money on the arts and heritage. They also spend money in hotels and restaurants. They spend money in the shops and on internal transport. Those activities are labour-intensive; and a huge amount of employment, income and tax yield is generated for the Government. I do not believe that Opposition Members have attached sufficient weight to those important factors.
I reject the suggestion that the gambling aspect is detrimental to the national character. I notice that Opposition Members have said nothing about gambling on the pools being detrimental to the national character. They cannot have the argument both ways. Opposition Members cannot complain that the national lottery will damage the national character through gambling and then say that they will support the football pools because of the employment that is generated without referring to the fact that the football pools are a form of gambling.
I do not believe that the national lottery will sap the morale of the country. I want to quote the words of an Opposition Member as recorded in Hansard:I believe that this proposal will affect a great number of our people throughout the country on sincerely-held religious and moral grounds … Now Britain's strength, freedom and solvency apparently depend on the proceeds of a squalid raffle.Those were the words of Harold Wilson referring to the proposal of Harold Macmillian in the 1956 Budget to introduce a premium bond. Another Opposition Member, Mr. Simmons, said:I regard the Premium Bond as a record low for any statesman of stature in this country. It is an appeal to the least desirable instinct in the community, the instinct of getting something for nothing."—[Official Report, 18 April 1956; Vol. 551, c. 1026, 1083.]That was said 36 years ago. Since then, we have seen one of the most self-confident and expansionary phases in the history of Britain—the 1980s—when the arts and the whole of our national life flourished as it had never done before.
I do not accept the argument about gambling. It is a Victorian argument that a man, without the necessary strength of character, might gamble away his wages and destroy the living standards of his wife and children. That related to betting on horses when one could wager all one's salary or wage. It is most unlikely that anyone will do that in respect of the football pools or the national lottery.
There is a serious argument about employment in Liverpool, not only because of the number of jobs involved in Liverpool and on Merseyside and, to a lesser extent, in Glasgow and elsewhere, but because—and this point has not been made so far by Opposition Members —the families who run the football pools, such as the Moores who run Littlewoods, have given Merseyside and, not least, the arts an enormous amount of support which has benefited the whole community. They have done that on a philanthropic basis.
For example, the Moores and Littlewoods have rescued the Liverpool Playhouse which is highly important to the arts. My wife, who was an actress, tells me that the Liverpool Playhouse has been the nursery of many of our greatest actors and actresses. The same family contributed a great deal to the new Tate gallery in Liverpool.
761 However, I cannot see why the offices of the national lottery and their machinery should not be located in Liverpool as partial compensation. One most recognise that automation is increasing and the number of jobs involved with the football pools was already declining. We must also consider the national aspect mentioned by my right hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley and the volume of employment that the lottery would generate.
So far, no one has referred to the spending that would occur as a result of the prize money. Some of the money would be saved, but many prize winners would spend their money. That, in turn, would generate employment, income and a tax yield to the Government.
We must look at the widest possible picture. I strongly support the Bill, and I hope that there will be as little delay as possible before it reaches the statute book.
§ Mr. Bryan Davies (Oldham, Central and Royton)
I broadly support the concept of a national lottery. As most advanced countries and all other members of the European Community have already introduced national lotteries, if we do not introduce a lottery here, it would be only a matter of time before national lottery tickets from other countries were available in Britain.
Nor do I shrink from nationalising a part of the nation's gambling industry. As some of my colleagues have pointed out, the Government are in an odd position in that they are involved in a nationalisation measure. I rejoice in that. There is a great deal to be said for the development of part of our gambling that is directed towards good causes in which there will be public debate and a contribution from the wider community about the direction of those resources.
I can think of only one form of gambling which is responsive to public pressure, and that is the pools industry, with its support for football grounds and, in response to the Taylor report, the improvement of safety at grounds. That certainly has been beneficial—I would be the last to speak against it—and it shows the relationship between the pools and the industry which gives rise to the employment in the pools.
The national lottery gives an opportunity for a quantum leap in public support for the arts, sports, the national heritage and the millennium fund. We should recognise the extent to which the country is ill served at present in terms of capital for the arts and sports, for example. One of the great weaknesses in recent years with the bids that have been put forward by Birmingham and London, and now by Manchester, which I fervently hope will be successful, for the Olympic games in the year 2000, is that the initial sporting capital that we are relying upon is abysmally low.
To take an obvious example, the British national football stadium is now 70 years old. Wembly stadium was built in 1924 to host the Empire games. Although there have been modernisations since then, that indicates that this country has been notoriously slow to update its sporting and artistic facilities and that we have failed, in terms of public support, to provide them.
It has already been pointed out that a comparison might be drawn with the 1851 Great Exhibition arid the 1951 exhibition. I hope that the millennium fund will be directed at the creation of significant buildings. We have some of the greatest modern architects in the world. All 762 too little are they employed to design great public buildings. In recent years they have concentrated upon buildings in the private sector or the redevelopment of British Rail stations. I commend Liverpool Street and Charing Cross stations as fine examples of modern architecture. All too often, because architects have been in the private sector and because mammon has been dictating the terms, those buildings, far from being showplaces for the nation, are to be found in city streets in which it is difficult to obtain a true perspective of them. Vast numbers of people, not least hon. Members, from other parts of the country are too unaware of the achievements of British architects in recent years.
I hope that the millennium fund will give us the chance, first, to have major building projects which employ such talent, and, secondly, to get away from the terrible concentration only upon the capital city. One of the great tragedies of the past decade or so, the period when considerable oil wealth was siphoned off into the private sector through the beneficence of the Government, is that so much of the concentration of that wealth has been in City finance. The City of London has had opportunities for such development and the rest of the country has frequently been neglected.
I hope that we will have a full, major debate on the way in which resources will be used for the millennium fund. I trust that other parts of the country—for example, the regions, not least the north-west— will have opportunities for major building projects of real stature, which will be of great advantage to the nation and will be part of our national heritage.
The Secretary of State will have recognised the basis upon which the reasoned amendment was tabled and will know as a result of our questions to him in the Select Committee on National Heritage that there is enormous anxiety among Opposition Members about the impact upon the football pools industry of the introduction of the national lottery. I do not think that the present distinctions that the right hon. Gentleman draws between the two will hold in terms of public acceptability.
There seems to be an entirely spurious proposition that the national lottery will just be a game of chance, that it is not gambling, that gambling is about the application of one's brain to a game of skill in which one's intellect is engaged in making predictions about the results of certain sporting events, and that football pools fit into that category because one must predict the outcome of football matches. The Secretary of State and all those who argue in that way are living in a time warp.
Ever since the treble chance was introduced 40 years ago, it has been quite clear that the prediction of results has given way to the random selection of eight score draws out of 58 possible matches. It is completely a game of chance. That is why the big wins are made only when everybody else gets it wrong. By definition, the reason why everybody gets it wrong is that one cannot predict through skill, intellect or rational judgment. Pure chance produces the major dividend on the national pools.
What is more, the national pools continue to flourish throughout the summer. I have never met anybody who is interested in football in this country who has shown any capacity to understand the Australian football leagues and the Australian football results. The final nail in that coffin was delivered a few years ago when, in order to avoid the potential loss of income due to the disastrous effects of harsh British winters, the football pools introduced the 763 pools panel—a band of extremely worthy individuals. In fact, the chair is a personal friend of mine. He happens to be an Arsenal supporter, which shows how much he knows about football, but I will leave that point. It is abundantly clear that if one is laying bets upon the potential forecasts of a gathering of individuals loosely connected with the football industry actually producing results for the treble chance, clearly that is, in everything but name, a lottery.
My conclusion is not that we should abandon support for a national lottery but that we should play fair by the football pools industry. We should give the football pools industry what it asks for—a level playing field. If the national lottery is to be advertised on television, I see no reason why the football pools industry should not have the same rights. If, however, it is decided that it would be demoralising to the nation for such advertising to appear on television, that must apply to the national lottery as well.
I do not see why the football pools industry should not be able to match the national lottery in terms of potential prizes in order to retain its attractiveness. Nor do I see any reason why it should not have the same rights to provide its coupons through retail outlets in the way that is envisaged for the national lottery.
My other great anxiety—the Secretary of State will know about it from the concerns of members of the Select Committee—is the concept of the word that I shudder to use, but we all seem to be trapped by it—"additionality". It is marginally better than "subsidiarity", I suppose, in the sense that it means a little more, but nevertheless it is an extremely crude concept which is obviously central to the benefits that the national lottery will bring. If the Sports Council and the Arts Council are to distribute resources that are allocated by the Department of National Heritage and the Treasury, and if there are to be resources from the national lottery, we will have to lay down in the framework of the Bill a clear indication of how that process will work. Otherwise what we fear will happen—there will be a substitution of one form of expenditure for the other.
§ Mr. Alan Howarth (Stratford-on-Avon)
I welcome the opportunity that the national lottery uniquely provides to mobilise substantial extra sums for the arts, for the heritage and for sport. I also welcome the millennium fund. I hope that the effect of it will be to make us more cheerful as we approach the forthcoming millennium than our ancestors are reported to have been as they approached the previous one. If we should, however, decide that the end of the world is at hand, no doubt we shall draw some comfort from the thought that my right hon. and hon. Friends will be judged more lightly on judgment day for having sent the rest of us to perdition with an endowment.
I should like to say a word about additionality, although some of my hon. Friends might think that I am already a lost soul for descending into Euro-speak. I very much welcome the pledge of my right hon. Friend that the proceeds of the national lottery will not be a substitute for current Government spending. Hon. Members will be watching to ensure that that is so and helping my right hon. Friend to achieve that objective. However, in truth, 764 we shall never know whether public spending on certain activities will grow by less than it otherwise would have done had there not been a national lottery.
I urge upon my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, therefore, an act of forbearance and suggest that he refrain altogether from taxing the lottery. I know how keen he must be to find every additional source of revenue. He must be concerned about the possible loss of pools revenue. But, realistically, he will be limited in what he can take from the lottery to some 5 per cent., or 7 per cent. at the most. Experience in other countries has shown that at least 48 per cent. of turnover will need to go to prizes if people are to buy enough tickets. The Minister must allow not less than 12 per cent. for the costs of promotion and administration. Unless 35 per cent. is spent on good causes, the prospectus of the national lottery—that it is a grand design intended to achieve a quantum leap in funding for those good causes—will prove to be a deception. That leaves only 5 per cent. or, at the most, 7 per cent. to be taken by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor directly from the lottery. It will certainly not be the 15 to 20 per cent. which has been bandied about. About 5 or 7 per cent. would keep the Chancellor in phase with the level of taxation in other European countries.
However, in his remarks to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations conference, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary observed that the intention was that the lottery should be "good fun". My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State unbuttoned himself before Christmas so far as to describe the national lottery as "an exciting project which will capture the imagination of the nation". The lottery will not be such fun or as exciting if the tax man appears at the party like an undertaker.
I urge the Government to consider seriously the possibility that the Exchequer would do better if the Chancellor refrained from taxing the lottery directly. More people will want to buy lottery tickets if the lottery is tax free and a vigorous flow of money into the lottery will stimulate and finance economic activity—construction and employment—all of which will yield tax downstream. If the Chancellor were to go in for such an act of apparent self-abnegation, it might be possible for as much as 40 per cent. to go to good causes. I suggest that the Government settle for that amount, which would be a good bargain all round.
I should like to say a word about the impact of the national lottery on charities. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary rightly emphasised that everyone involved in charities should look on the national lottery as an opportunity which, if properly taken, will yield great benefits for charities. His qualification was right and the opportunity must be properly taken by the Government.
My hon. Friend's decision that charities should be among the principal beneficiaries of the national lottery has been widely welcomed. It is good that the Government listened and responded to the case which was made. But genuine anxieties remain on the part of charities.
I hope that Ministers in the Department of National Heritage and the Home Office will be vigilant to ensure that additionality operates in the field of public expenditure on charities and voluntary organisations. Central and local government are important providers of funds to charities and voluntary organisations. Increasingly, statutory agencies are working in partnership with charities and voluntary organisations to provide 765 services and address the multiplicity of needs in our society. Even as it is, before the lottery and under the present pressures of public expenditure, there is a significant erosion of public support for charities and voluntary organisations. It is crucial that departments, whether in central or local government, do not get away with reducing further their support for charities and voluntary organisations on the basis that other money may be forthcoming from the national lottery.
I hope that my right hon. Friend will be alive and sensitive to the probability that the advent of the national lottery will divert money from charitable giving. It will be hard to assess the scale of that effect because nothing happens in a vacuum. Other extraneous effects such as recession and, indeed, economic recovery will have an influence on the totality of charitable giving. But common sense tells us that the impact of the lottery will displace some spending on charities as on the pools.
It is right that the Government should monitor those two matters in the context of the national lottery: the development of public funding for charities and voluntary organisations and of private contributions to them. The Government should recognise their responsibility. They need a flourishing charitable sector in the pursuit of many of their policies. They will be the creator of this juggernaut, the national lottery, and it is only right that they should accept responsibility in relation to its consequences. I hope that the Government will stand ready, if necessary, to provide further compensation—I was pleased to hear my right hon. Friend use that word in this context—possibly by introducing further relief for charities from VAT and by entitling charities absolutely to relief from the business rate.
I am grateful that my right hon. Friend introduced clauses in part III of the Bill which enlarge the scope for small charitable lotteries. He is well aware of the concern of many charities which are significantly dependent on the proceeds of small lotteries that their revenue will be hit by the arrival of a giant national lottery which enjoys all the advantages of massive publicity and the allure of enormous prizes.
My right hon. Friend proposes to increase the prize limits and the permissible turnover for society lotteries and local lotteries. To an extent, he proposes to relax the rules on advertising. Those concessions are welcome, as far as they go, but I put it to him that they do not go far. Why should he set any limits on the turnover and prizes of small lotteries? If small lotteries are duly registered, if they are required to provide proper accounts and if a minimum proportion of their turnover is required to go to good causes, they should be free to compete. I am left with a suspicion that the Government are using their power of legislation to rig the rules in favour of the national lottery. I should like the national lottery to leave more space for small lotteries. In that context, I am sorry that my right hon. Friend envisages that the national lottery should use scratch cards. Scratch cards are a convenient and productive device for small charitable lotteries. The national lottery will be able to use the latest and most expensive technology. It would be fair and sensible if the national lottery left the field clear for small charitable lotteries to use scratch cards.
Rather than close opportunities for other charitable lotteries to raise funds, I would prefer my right hon. Friend to look further at the manner in which charitable lotteries are regulated. It must be said that the regulation of 766 lotteries by local authorities is patchy. By doubling the levels at which society lotteries must register with the Gaming Board, there is a risk that the scale of abuse will double. I ask the Minister why the Gaming Board or the Office of National Lotteries should not regulate all lotteries.
I hope that it will be possible to find an opportunity in the legislation properly to regulate so-called games of skill. The Institute of Charity Fund-Raising Managers has provided some disturbing evidence of rackets in the operation of prize competition draws by commercial companies which claim to work on behalf of chari ties. "Games of skill" whereby questions are posed, such as "If today is Monday, what is tomorrow?", escape the net of lotteries regulation. Such games of skill should be brought within an equivalent secure regulatory regime.
I have spoken about ways in which money will be raised through the national lottery and other lotteries. I should like to say a word about distribution. The Government are creating a great engine of fund raising which will be accountable to Parliament for the propriety of its operation. It is appropriate that the Government should have a policy about the use of the proceeds. I take issue with those who argue in favour of the purest application of the arms-length principle. It is legitimate that the Government should take a view in response to public debate, and I support that.
§ Mr. Robert N. Wareing (Liverpool, West Derby)
What amazes me in this debate, which in a sense began during Question Time today, is the apparent lack of doing homework on the part of the Government and the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State reminds me of the little boy who gets his exercise book out, does his homework, goes along to school the following day and then when he returns home refuses to show his exercise book to his parents because he got all his sums wrong. That is what happened with the GAH report.
I do not believe any of the nonsense about commercial probity—that the Government must be careful. If the report told us that the sums are correct, it would have been produced to us. Sums have been made out by the pools firms and by Coopers and Lybrand. The gross remittances to the football pools companies—their income—which stood at £880 million in 1991–92 are likely to be reduced to £442.3 million by 1995–96.
That reduction will affect the contribution by the pools companies to good causes. We have heard much talk about good causes being assisted by the national lottery. Let us examine the amounts which the football pools have contributed to good causes in recent years. In 1991–92, £21 million was provided for the Football Trust, mostly for improvements to stadiums and seating accommoda-tion. By 1995–96, that will fall to £11.1 million. The Foundation for Sport and the Arts received £20.3 million in 1991–92 from the football pools. In 1995–96, that will fall to £11.1 million. Let us not forget that the pools pay out the large amount of 37.5 per cent. of their takings through the pools betting duty. According to a recent parliamentary reply, in 1991–92 the pools contributed to the Exchequer no less than £319.5 million. That is almost half the pools turnover during that period.
767 The lottery will be expensive, with some 50 per cent. going on the prizes. That will leave very little: 35 per cent. will be left to be distributed, not to good causes but between good causes and the national Exchequer.
I reiterate what I said about the so-called competition between the football and national lotteries in other countries. The hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Tracey) claimed that Italy was a good example of a country with football pools and a national lottery. The position is not comparable because the Government envisage that the national lottery in Britain will compete with the football pools for 52 weeks of the year. In Italy, there are only four or five draws of the national lottery each year, so the Italian football pools have to compete with the national lottery for only four or five weeks a year.
All the evidence is that considerable sums will be lost to both the football pools and charities. The Jubilee Policy Group showed that the pools companies stood to lose £325 million a year. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations estimated a loss of £428 million to charitable organisations. Those figures are the results of research carried out by people who did their homework. It is a pity that the Government have apparently discussed the matter with the pools promoters only once—on 9 December.
The greatest impact of the national lottery, especially in the eyes of Members of Parliament who represent Liverpool constituencies such as myself and my hon. Friends, will be the job losses that it will cause. Of the 4,997 jobs provided by the Littlewoods organisation alone, 1,833—14 per cent.—are at the Walton Hall avenue office in my constituency. But considerable unemployment would be caused in other parts of Merseyside. Birkenhead is one. I see my hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) in his place. I hope that perhaps he will catch your eye later, Mr. Deputy Speaker.
Vernons and Zetters are likely to go out of business altogether, according to Coopers and Lybrand. Of course, the Government are used to businesses going bankrupt; what do two more matter? It matters to my constituents. The position is appalling. Almost 5,000 people are employed in the pools industry on Merseyside now but it is estimated that by 1996–97, only 1,175 people will work for Littlewoods pools.
If the Government want to refute my figures, let them produce their evidence. Let the little boy come home with his exercise book and show his parents—the House of Commons—what they have a right to know. They have a right to know the evidence on which the Government have determined their case.
The job losses in Liverpool and elsewhere will be among not only those directly employed by the pools firms. The Secretary of State talked about the indirect employment that would be generated by the national lottery. Littlewoods, Vernons and Zetters also create employment in the advertising, banking services, construction, electrical supplies, paper manufacturing, postal services, printing, stationery and office equipment industries. It is estimated that 1,025 jobs are indirectly generated by the pools industry in Britain.
We have had enough redundancies on Merseyside. In recent months, more jobs have been lost at Ford, Pilkington and the oil depot at Stanlow. Cammell Laird 768 has been debated in the House. Another company in my constituency, General Electric, has been forced to offload 95 people as a result, not of technological changes but the recession, largely because of the Government's policies.
What can the Government do to compensate? When he spoke before the National Heritage Select Committee, the Secretary of State said that the lottery would create no more than about 1,000 jobs. It is appalling that the Government do not take into account the job losses which are likely to occur in the pools industry.
Why on earth should the pools organisations not advertise on television and radio, if the national lottery is to be allowed to do so? Why should not the pools companies sell their coupons in shops? Why should not they be allowed to pass on their jackpot from one week to another if there is no outright winner? Why should the pools be discriminated against in tax rates? I have been given no answer so far to those questions.
The Secretary of State talked about creating millionaires and museums when he launched the Bill. I can tell him that there will be precious few millionaires among the pools employees in Liverpool, but perhaps the pools industry, like so many other industries in Britain under the Tory Government, will be deposited in a museum
§ 7.8 pm
§ Sir John Hannam (Exeter)
I welcome the introduction of the national lottery as a means of raising additional resources for the maintenance of the basic structure of our arts, heritage and sports systems. I have been involved for some 13 years with the Royal National theatre, across the river. For some years, the difficulties which we have experienced in raising the necessary resources to repair, modernise and maintain the building have brought home to me the difficulties that our universities, sports stadiums, heritage buildings and museums throughout Britain face in finding funds for renovation and upkeep.
I welcome the measure but, having had some experience of the recent attempt to launch a nationwide lottery scheme aimed at raising funds for charitable schemes, I have two warnings. First, there will be a time lag before the money raised reaches the billions that we have heard mentioned in the debate today. Secondly, I am concerned about the impact on existing charity fund raising, which could be quite serious. Following on from the matters raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Stratford-onAvon (Mr. Howarth), I have some comments and suggestions for changes in the Bill to help to alleviate the damage that could be caused to many organisations that raise money through small lotteries.
It is generally accepted that the national lottery will result in a significant reduction in direct charity giving, and that funds raised will be used principally to finance capital projects. In 1989–90, approximately £235 million was raised in this country from small lotteries. For many charities, existing lottery income forms a key element of the operating budget and cannot be replaced by capital project financing from a national lottery. I received today from the Lotteries Council a list of 120 such clubs—mostly football clubs, including Exeter City football club in my constituency. Many such clubs rely on small scratch-card and similar lotteries for vital revenue each year.
Other community organisations and charities have received life-saving income from United Kingdom Charity Lotteries—a lottery management company owned by and 769 operating lotteries for a consortium of charities, including the Rehabilitation Institute, the National Autistic Society and the Children's Family Trust. UKCL is the country's largest operator of charity lotteries under the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976 and has sold more than £40 million worth of scratch-card lottery tickets under the very tight supervision of the Gaming Board since its launch in February 1991.
The cash benefit to a wide range of charities and clubs already exceeds £10 million and, in my area of activities, my local rugby club has benefited from a £40,000 pay-out, as well as British Youth Opera and Action Research for crippling diseases, which gives some idea of the range. I know that many other hon. Members have participated in local cheque handover ceremonies and can testify to the value of the contribution made by lotteries to the hard-pressed organisations concerned.
The effect of the national lottery would be especially devastating if the Government proceeded with their stated intention of including a scratch-card element as well as the expected on-line computer-based jackpot scheme. Charity lotteries have pioneered the introduction of scratch-card lotteries in this country, which are ideally suited to charities' needs. Unlike on-line computer-based games, which can only be run effectively on a national scale and continuously, a scratch-card lottery can be run within limited time periods, on a local or regional basis, as may be appropriate for particular charities.
The national lottery should not therefore have any scratch-card element if it is not to present such a potential for damaging our charities, and I hope that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will eliminate such a proposal from the Bill.
Having removed scratch cards, I am afraid that some further steps need to be taken if charitable lotteries are to have a reasonable chance to compete. The 1976 Act governing such lotteries is restrictive and needs more amendment and development than the Bill suggests.
First, on prizes, whereas the national lottery will provide weekly prizes of more than £1 million, the Bill proposes that the maximum prize in any charity lottery should be limited to £25,000. I see no reason why a charity lottery should not offer up to 20 per cent. of its turnover in a top prize, which is well within the confines of the overriding limit of 50 per cent. of ticket sales provided under the 1976 Act. Of course, prizes should be linked to turnover and the frequency of the lotteries. Unless a lottery is permitted to have a sizeable turnover, it cannot hope to produce attractive prizes.
The Bill proposes to limit each society to £5 million worth of lottery sales a year. I do not cavil at that target, but unfortunately the Bill also arbitrarily requires that to be achieved through a minimum of 20 district lotteries, thus raising the running costs and reducing the scope for prizes. I see no reason for that. A society or charity should be able to hold a smaller number of larger lotteries with a turnover of up to £1.25 million—in other words, four lotteries within the confines of the £5 million ceiling. Provided that the prize limits are also amended, that would allow a top prize of £250,000, which, while falling well short of the national lottery weekly jackpot, would allow charities to offer attractive occasional prizes. It is impossible for any operator to run 20 instant lotteries a year, which one would have to do to reach the annual limit for each society. Throughout the world, no more than four, or at the most five, instant lotteries are run annually 770 by any operator. A reasonable number would be four—one each quarter—and I hope that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will accept such a proposal.
Advertising is a subject of great concern to the football pools promoters. One can understand that the national lottery will need substantial publicity and paid advertising if it is to be successful and that has been anticipated in the Bill. However, charitable lotteries still operating under the 1976 Act will continue to be subject to a code developed by the Independent Television Commission, the ITVA and the Home Office—a code that massively restricts their ability to advertise.
United Kingdom Charity Lotteries is not even allowed to inform the public on television of the chances of buying a winning ticket. The Bill needs to be amended to clarify that. Although general codes of advertising conduct must obviously apply, no special code will limit the manner in which either the national lottery or charitable lotteries, under the 1976 Act, may advertise in any media.
Expense limits are another concern. The present allowance of 25 per cent. of sales is proving nearly impossible for many charity lotteries. They are worried that, with value added tax absorbing a larger proportion of their expense allowance, and with higher promotional expenses required in the light of competition from the national lottery, they will be squeezed out of existence unless expenses can be raised to a higher proportion of sales.
If the amendments on prizes and turnover are accepted, they will allow charities to operate more cost effectively. However, to be fair to them, the ceiling should be raised, or the allowance should apply to expenses before VAT, which would enable them to continue their operations.
I do not think that restrictive practices have been mentioned in the debate, but in other countries they have resulted in national lotteries effectively denying other organisations access to distribution. It is essential that the Bill prohibits the national lottery operators from attempting to bind retailers, distributors or other service providers to exclusive arrangements. Our charities, which are already finding fund raising difficult, should not be squeezed out of existence by the national lottery. The draft Bill does a good job of making the national lottery a heavyweight contender in the market place, but it throws lightweight charitable lotteries into the ring with their hands tied behind their backs.
Clubs and organisations that serve the community will be looking to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to ensure that their vital fund-raising activities are not endangered by the national lottery. As a supporter of the national lottery, I am confident that the Government will listen and act on my recommendations, which will enable me to give my full support to a long overdue measure.
§ Mr. David Alton (Liverpool, Mossley Hill)
The hon. Member for Exeter (Sir J. Hannam) mentioned his hopes for the Committee stage of the Bill. Along with many other Opposition Members who have spoken, I hope that we shall not reach that stage and that the House declines to give the Bill a Second Reading. That will come as no surprise to hon. Members who have heard other impassioned pleas from people from the Merseyside area, from Glasgow and Cardiff, who are obviously worried about the impact of the national lottery on jobs.
771 In Question Time today, the Under-Secretary of State said that he regarded the football pools as a sleeping beauty. He will not be surprised to hear that neither the people of Merseyside, Members representing Merseyside, nor the pools industry regard him or the Secretary of State as the handsome prince in waiting. Given the fact that jobs in the Merseyside community will probably be lost as a result of the Bill, the two Ministers can probably understand why Opposition Members feel so strongly about the impact of the national lottery on the football pools. It is not good enough for Ministers simply to say that, in the past, Merseysiders have shown a great capacity to adapt and change. There is only so much that a community can stand. Currently 71,000 people in the Greater Liverpool area are unemployed. Our community would find it difficult to cope with the possibility of 4,000 or 5,000 jobs disappearing.
The right hon. Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker) said that he was working on "the best evidence available" when he discounted the possibility of the pools being unable to coexist alongside a national lottery. However, the problem for the House is that the best evidence has not been available today. As the hon. Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Wareing) said, the GAH report has been withheld.
If the Bill is given a Second Reading, I hope that, in Committee, there will be an opportunity for hon. Members to study the detail of that report so that they can come to sound conclusions about the effects of a lottery on the pools industry. If they cannot, how will it be possible to assert, as the Secretary of State has today, that there is no need to provide the pools and the national lottery with a level playing field on which to compete? Therefore, clause 12 will have to be amended in Committee. The same terms should apply to both the pools and the national lottery, or they should apply to neither. I have no great wish to see more television advertising for gambling—whether it be on a lottery or the football pools—but if one type of gambling is advertised, the same opportunity should be made available for the other.
All the evidence from overseas shows that a national lottery will result in the loss of jobs. Football pools were established in Belgium and when, subsequently, a national lottery was introduced, the football pools went out of business almost overnight. Malcolm Hughes, the managing director of Vernons, said:It is not possible to find an example anywhere in the world of a National Lottery and a Pools industry thriving side by side.They can exist but not thrive. He continued:
In case after case, arrival of a lottery has squeezed out Pools Games and the examples of Australia, Belgium and, more recently, Greece all bear testimony to this fact.Other hon. Members have mentioned the Coopers and Lybrand report, which makes the same point, so I shall not expand on that issue. It is clear that, if the national lottery becomes a reality in this country later this year, the prospect for the pools industry will be one of decline. That will mean that many of my constituents who work in Littlewoods at Edge Lane, Liverpool, and other people working in the pools centres to which reference has already been made, will face the possibility of losing their jobs.
If the Bill is given a Second Reading, I hope that, at the very least, the Secretary of State will recognise that in 772 districts where people are displaced due to loss of jobs, those people should have first claim on potential jobs arising from a national lottery. Therefore, the headquarters of a national lottery should be in a place like Liverpool.
We should not gamble with people's jobs and livelihoods. If the House insists on taking that gamble without making available to hon Members the information that they have requested, it is the responsibility of the House to ensure that, at the very least, jobs that result from the national lottery—they will be in the hundreds, not thousands—are made available to those living in the districts that will suffer.
The national lottery is also likely to have an impact on charities. We are constantly being tantalised by the idea of the unimagined riches that will flow from the national lottery, but no figure today has been put on the rewards. In the past, figures such as £3 billion, £2 billion and £1.5 billion have been mentioned. Sensibly, the Secretary of State today declined to state a figure. Certainly, many organisations fear that their charities will lose money and existing gifts as a result of a national lottery.
In a letter published on 18 January the Lotteries Council stated:
We are, however, greatly disturbed about certain aspects of the Bill in its present form, especially Clauses 42–47 which propose changes to societies' lotteries provisions contained in The Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976. These changes will not assist charitable and sporting lotteries to be more attractive, as implied by Heritage Secretary, Mr. Peter Brooke.A report published by the Jubilee Centre in Cambridge, entitled "All In a Good Cause", states:
The impact of the lottery on existing charitable income, and on the football pools, means that the net benefit to good causes will be much lower than the Government claims. It is possible that charities will end up as losers. The NCVO, for example, estimates the lottery will lead to a loss of income to charities of between £107 million and £395 million. Income from the lottery may well not match these losses.We must consider the impact on existing charities of setting up a national lottery.
We must assess the effect that a national lottery will have on poorer families in this country. Almost inevitably, they will be the ones who will spend most on the national lottery and will be least able to afford to pay. If a school needs a soccer pitch or a community needs an arts centre, surely such facilities should be paid for through taxation or voluntary fund-raising efforts, not by encouraging people to take a chance and spend more money on gambling of one sort or another. That is a regressive form of taxation and surely not one that the House should encourage. We should raise resources on the basis of people's ability to pay, not by encouraging them to take a chance.
The report "All In A Good Cause" states:
The experience of lotteries in other countries shows that pressure to increase revenue can weaken safeguards, leading to significant addictive gambling. The promotion and advertising of gambling by the state is also highly questionable on ethical grounds.It is not only our existing charities that will be hit. Sports, arts and the Football Trust stand to lose up to an estimated £100 million a year. We do not know what will happen to the £300 million currently paid to the Exchequer by the football pools. We can estimate that the people who are least able to pay will be hit hardest by the national lottery. It does not seem rational or sensible that poorer people living in districts of Liverpool, Glagow and Cardiff 773 and inner city areas in London should be expected to subsidise disproportionately places such as Covent Garden. However estimable it is for national institutions to be adequately financed so that they can see out this millennium and see in the next, and however worthy it is to propose new museums and more funding for the arts, that should be done through national taxation, not by encouraging people to spend money that many of them simply do not have. That will be a punitive form of taxation.
For those reasons, I hope that the House will not give the Bill a Second Reading. If it should do so, I hope that, in Committee, the Secretary of State will consider many of the issues raised today, not least the undoubted impact that the Bill will have on many people living in regions of high unemployment.
§ Sir Malcolm Thornton (Crosby)
Contrary to many of my colleagues who represent Merseyside, I am not against the principle of a national lottery. However,I am concerned that the present proposals do not adequately reflect the needs of other organisations such as charities and the football pools.
I make no apologies for concentrating my remarks on the football pools as Vernons has its headquarters in my constituency. It has just spent about £10 million on new headquarters. It has the most up-to-date technological system of any football pools anywhere. It employs a vast number of people throughout Merseyside, many of whom live in my constituency. I am naturally concerned at the effect that the Bill will have on those employees' future if the Government do not heed the concerns expressed by the pools promoters.
Vernons was founded in Liverpool in 1925 and has a record of tremendous employment—and stable employment—as does Littlewoods, throughout the city. We want that stability to be maintained. We recognise that technological advances will result in fewer people being employed over the years, but it would be unacceptable if they were seriously disadvantaged by Government legislation a national lottery.
As my right hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker) said, it may be that the news will cheer people up, but I do not believe that they are desperately unhappy about the prospect of a national lottery. It may be that more jobs will flow from it—it is suggested that it will create 80,000. I shall not follow my right hon. Friend down his literary road. Suffice it to say:
Oh, the brave music of a distant Drum!I believe that the Bill will be given a Second Reading. I believe also that in Committee the legitimate interests of the pools promoters will be heeded. So too, I am sure, will be the views expressed by my hon. Friends about charities. If we are to have a level playing field in every sense of the term, we must not allow this proposed legislation to tilt that field in favour of a national lottery with the result that accepted and stable busineses are seriously affected.
I was interested and pleased that the Select Committee's report stated that:
Lottery and the pools should be treated equally with regard to advertising on all media; in the marketing of their products; in the ability of roll-over jackpots; and in the way the pools are promoted to clients who do not wish to exercise the use of skill and judgement.It has been suggested that the pools promoters are trying to have it both ways. It is a fact that about 90 per 774 cent. of those who participate in the pools use their lucky, or unlucky, numbers as the case may he. The promoters have used the phrase "a scintilla of skill". It was fixed odds that required some skill, but the treble chance was always a matter of chance. Therein lies the attraction—the big prize.
The promoters have already brought in the larger jackpot. In other words, they are already responding. The Government say, "Would they have done that had it not been for the Bill?" I would not necessarily disagree with that argument, but that does not invalidate the need for the Government to recognise the serious problems that will be presented to the promoters if the Bill proceeds unchanged.
There is much support for the principle of a national lottery. As the hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton) and others have said, Merseyside does not want to lose if the pools are affected, but it would be an admirable place for the headquarters of the national lottery. I hope that all my colleagues from Merseyside will join me in supporting that principle. Let us obtain the opportunities that would flow to Merseyside on the basis that it would be a first-class place for the establishment of the national lottery.
Legitimate views have been expressed that, I believe, will not be unheeded by the Government. There will be opportunities for these views to be taken on board during the Bill's passage. The Government can have their national lottery and charities, and the arts and sport can benefit from the obvious advantages that will flow from its establishment. In achieving that end, however, there is no need to destroy businesses that employ many people in my constituency, throughout Merseyside and in many other parts of the country. If the Government take heed of that, they will have my full support in all that they are trying to do.
I was delighted to read on the Order Paper the proposal —I am sure that it will not find great favour—that the Bill should go to a Special Standing Committee. I am a great supporter of the concept of SSCs. Surely we should have more of them. Having sat on one such Committee in the past, when there was a large measure of agreement, I am aware of the benefits that the members of the Committee were able to derive from the early sittings that took place under Select Committee rules.
There is general good will for the Bill. That good will is not total, but there is a recognition that things can be achieved. We have an opportunity to take people's legitimate concerns on board. I believe that we shall end up with a good measure that we can all support.
§ Mrs. Jane Kennedy (Liverpool, Broadgreen)
I echo the interests that the hon. Member for Crosby (Sir M. Thornton) has declared. My interests lie with those of my constituents who work for the pools or who live in families where one or other members of them are employed by the pools on Merseyside.
I was disappointed to hear the way in which the arguments of football pools workers and those of the Pool Promoters Association were summarily dismissed by the Secretary of State for National Heritage and other Conservative Members. I have much in mind the case that 775 has been made about job losses and the fears that have been expressed for the future of the pools industry if the Bill is enacted.
The football pools game, as it exists in the United Kingdom, is a hybrid of the lotteries and football games that exist in Europe. In the way in which it is played, it is unique to the United Kingdom. It is so close to a lottery Euro-style, however, that it is almost indistinguishable. Both games involve long-odds gambling. Both offer a high win for a low stake, which are the key motivating factors which cause people to play the pools here and lotto in Europe.
The argument frequently advanced by the Secretary of State and the Under-Secretary of State before the Select Committee and in public that there would be only one national lottery gives the game away to some extent. It is clear that the Government are prepared to see the demise of football pools if that is what it takes to establish a successful national lottery. I accept that it may be possible for a national lottery and the football pools to co-exist, but that will be possible only if they are able to compete fairly. As the lottery and the pools would be competing for the same market, they should compete on fair terms.
The Coopers and Lybrand report that was commissioned by the Pools Promoters Association and published in May suggests, unlike the report on which the Government rely, that the propensity to bet in the United Kingdom cannot increase very much without adversely affecting the pools. As a Merseyside Member, I point out that entire families are employed in the industry, which has been a source of secure employment for decades. To put that at risk with a gamble without taking steps to safeguard the interests of those who are employed by the pools is shameful.
There have been several reports on the possible revenue that might be raised from a national lottery. The White Paper estimated a potential revenue of £3 billion. The Sports and Arts Council, the Henley centre, London Economics and Saatchi and Saatchi estimate £2 billion, £3 billion, £1.3 billion and £1.6 billion respectively, while the GAH group estimates a massive £4.2 billion. Those who hope to profit from the introduction of a lottery pick the figure that they hope will be achieved and begin immediately to spend the proceeds. Talk about counting chickens before they are hatched.
The one point of agreement in all the reports is that the pools will be adversely affected through lower turnover, which will lead inevitably to job losses. The introduction of a national lottery on terms that do not allow the pools to compete fairly may cause the collapse of the pools. The Government cannot be sure that that will not happen. It is not only employment in the pools industry that will suffer. We must consider also the jobs of those in businesses that rely on the pools. For example, N&B Direct Ltd has printed Vernons pools coupons since the early 1950s. That work is 70 per cent. of their business. If Vernons goes under, so will N&S Direct Ltd and 75 more jobs will be lost. Littlewoods estimates that if it suffers large losses, at least a further 800 jobs will be lost in the businesses that rely upon it. As corporate and consumer expenditure decreases, so other areas of the local economy will be affected.
776 What will be the Government's response? Rather than significant policies aimed at regeneration and growth, they will infest rundown areas with billboards encouraging people to play the lottery. Perhaps they will use the words, "This could be your ticket out of here." If the House thinks that no Government would be so cruel, I assure hon. Members that those were the exact words on a billboard in inner-city Chicago used to sell the Illinois state lottery as short a time ago as last summer.
To achieve the £4.2 billion estimated by the GAH group, 65 per cent. of the population have to participate, with games being run initially once a week, but quickly moving to twice-weekly draws and daily prizes. That could be sustained only with blanket television advertising. No other study among those that I mentioned has accepted that that can be achieved. Without similar opportunities to advertise on television, the pools companies will quickly find themselves with a loss.
The Coopers and Lybrand study said that without fair competition—and bearing in mind the two important incentives that I mentioned of the large prize and the small stake—more than 80 per cent. of pools players would split their stake between the lottery and the pools in the first weeks of the lottery. That could cause a drop in revenue to Littlewoods alone of 30 per cent., which would impact on its first prize, dropping it from £2 million to an estimated £800,000. The downward spiral from there is obvious. If we ignore that, we risk the thousands of jobs in Liverpool.
That downward spiral can be combated only if the pools companies are allowed to advertise their products on television, to sell their coupons through retail outlets and to roll over their prizes to form jackpots. Treating the two games equally for tax purposes is of great importance to the smaller pools companies, which do not have the revenue to spend on television advertising. If Vernons is required to pay much larger sums than the lottery to the Exchequer, its prizes will be reduced in size and consequently its ability to compete will be lost.
When I met the Minister last week, he told me that he could not predict the Government's future spending plans and, therefore, could not guarantee that lottery revenue would always be additional to present levels of public spending on the sports, arts and national heritage. Hon. Members would do well to learn from the American experience of lotteries. In Florida, people thought that the state lottery would provide extra money for education. However, since it introduced its lottery in 1986, the proportion of state tax revenue going to education has fallen. What happened? Legislators played a game of their own—when the lottery proceeds rolled in, less general fund money was given to schools. The lottery inevitably became a funding substitute.
Of course, the Secretary of State will say that that will not happen here, but as I was reminded last week, spending plans are not carved in stone. Who knows what will happen in this country? A future Government might include lottery forecasts in the Budget, as is done in Virginia. Judging by the current Chancellor's success at forecasting, it would not be recommended as a safe bet.
As we have heard, the idea of raising revenue through a lottery is not new. It was abandoned in 1826, all concerned having finally accepted that lotteries were a discreditable business for any Government to become involved in. In 1819, a petition was presented by the then 777 hon. Member for Sheffield, a Mr. Stuart Wortley, which, as reported in columns 1115–16 of the Parliamentary Debates for 22 March of that year,most earnestly and respectfully solicit the House, that no bill in future may pass which shall have for its object the raising of money for the public service by way of lottery.The petition was ordered to lie upon the Table; presumably, it still does.
A national lottery is a poor substitute for a fair taxation policy, and it is no substitute for a proper plan to tackle unemployment and poverty. On behalf of my constituents who, like those in Sheffield in 1819, believe that state-sponsored gambling is not a proper business for Government, I ask the House not to gamble with their jobs, and I urge hon. Members to decline to give the Bill a Second Reading.
§ Sir Ivan Lawrence (Burton)
I am delighted to support the Bill. I am grateful to the Government for picking up the ball that I passed to them and for running with it to the touchline, hopefully to score well with this improved Bill.
The proceeds of the national lottery will be substantial. The public opinion polls have given us some idea of how much will be raised. They show that 72 per cent. of the population will play, so we need only to compare that with European countries to have some idea of the amount involved. In France, 50 per cent. of the population play the national lottery and in Ireland the figure is 60 to 65 per cent. Spain raises between £3 billion and £4 billion with a roughly similar population to that of Britain. Therefore, there is some sign that the Government are being a little careful in placing the overall gain as low as £1.5 billion. The benefits and advantages are so extensive that those who oppose a national lottery are arguing against a tide of public opinion that they cannot possibly withstand.
Of course, I understand the concern of those who represent constituency interests, especially the pools companies in the Liverpool area. I want to make a number of points about that. Before they get too cock-a-hoop, the pools companies should realise that it is actually illegal to pay out a prize of more than £12,000 in any game of chance. It is difficult for them to justify their game, as played at present, as anything more than a game of chance. It is hardly a game of skill. They should bear that in mind when talking about a level playing field. Nevertheless, I support the Select Committee's recommendation that there should be a level playing field. There should be one for everything; there should be one for the scratch cards. We should not abolish them to help to make other lotteries more viable. In any case, I do not think that that would be achieved.
If those who represent Liverpool are right and 1,000 jobs are lost, that must be weighed against the massive increases in jobs that will be created by the national lottery. Job losses in the pools industry will happen anyway as it comes more technically on line. I do not think that those Labour Members who attack the Government for creating private monopolies in other spheres of the British economy should too strongly justify a private monopoly here and be too fearful of competition. That tends to show, first, that they have not studied some of the statistics, and, secondly, that they have no confidence in the pools industry.
In Britain, we spend about 27p per head on the pools. The people of Europe spend about £1 per head on 778 gambling. That means that there will be a substantial amount of new money. Only about one in three people in this country play the pools. If 72 per cent. of the population say that they will play the lottery, it means that a large number of people who do not play the pools will play the lottery. Therefore, the pools industry need not be too worried. In countries such as Italy, where there is a strong football industry, the pools continue side by side with the lottery, flourishing as they always have done.
While we understand the fears that have been expressed —I would express them myself if I were a Liverpool Member—we must place those fears and concerns in context. We must do likewise with the concern about small charities. Some 56 per cent. of people do not give to charity, so there is the potential to raise a great deal more money for charity through the lottery. I do not believe that when someone knocks on a door and asks for money to repair the leaking local church roof or for the local scout troop, he will get the reply, "I am sorry, I will not give to you because I have already given to the national lottery this week." It does not happen that way. People will continue to give money to local charities. Charities will anyway be one of the substantial beneficiaries of the national lottery, and there is too much concern and fear that small charities will suffer. There is no indication that they are likely to do so.
As for the substitution of the lottery for Government spending, we have the Government's assurance on that. As far as Government assurances are worth anything, that must be worth something. But I will return to that point before I conclude, because I am a tiny bit fearful that when this wonderful Government is replaced by one that finds it more difficult to make the economy work, there might be a temptation to change that.
I said that I am in favour of a level playing field, but it must be level for the pools industry as well. It ought to be just a little careful. It does not give anything like as much money to sport and the arts as a lottery would. I say that as a beneficiary of the Football Trust, which recently gave Burton Albion a substantial amount of money, which put Burton Albion on the map—so now, hopefully, I will not be the only person who attends its matches on Saturday.
The pools industry gives only a relatively small proportion of its income to sport and to the arts. The sum total is about £100 million a year, and most of that comes from a reduction in taxation—yet the sports part of the national lottery will produce several times that figure.
The argument that the national lottery will encourage gambling is old fashioned; it is yesterday's argument; it is very patronising and authoritarian, and also unrealistic. If we do not have a lottery, a lot of the money will go elsewhere. The Church also has lotteries. It is difficult for religious people to argue today that they do not believe in lotteries. Generally speaking, those who say that others should be forced not to gamble are yesterday's people.
Against that kind of opposition, the national lottery offers so many outstanding opportunities as to make the case for it absolutely overwhelming. Ours will no longer be the only country in the world that does not trust its people to spend money on a lottery. We will keep large sums of money in this country to the benefit of British causes, instead of letting that money go abroad to other countries, to benefit those countries' causes.
We will be able to spend money on the arts that we do not spend at present—on local theatres, orchestras, arid museums, and perhaps also on national concert halls. 779 Germany has 96 more opera houses than Britain. We will be able to spend more on covered tennis courts, athletics tracks, and sports halls. France has 20 times as many tennis courts, and Germany 20 times as many swimming pools as we do. There are 50,000 swimmers in this country, but if they want Olympic-standard training they can choose from only 12 swimming pools.
We will be able to spend more money on stopping our crumbling national heritage from crumbling any further as the waves of tourists swarm around it. Within the £3 billion liberated into the economy, there will be a substantial increase in jobs in the construction and service industries, management, training, architecture, tourism, sporting supplies, the musical and theatrical industries, and so on. Other parts of the country suffering unemployment should also be considered, apart from the people in Liverpool who are fearful that they might suffer.
One of my strongest reasons for supporting the national lottery is that our country has an immense problem with juvenile crime today—so immense that the Home Affairs Select Committee is to make that the subject of its next main investigation. It is generally agreed that one way to reduce juvenile crime—in which the peak age of the offender is 15 or 16—is to get young people to move from mischief making to a leisure interest that is constructive and worth while in the realms of sport, arts, education and other pastimes.
How much less crime would there be in troubled estates in Manchester, Bristol and London if our young people were given a constructive, alternative activity to pursue in their spare time? Claudio Abbado, the great conductor, remarked:When young people are playing music together in an orchestra, there's no drug problem.When there are targeted projects for the young, as there are in Staffordshire, under the police Space programme —which provides activities for young people during school holidays—juvenile crime falls. With so many young people out of work, this is not the time to pass over an opportunity to direct more of our money in to the kind of sporting and arts activities that will lead young people away from the tendency to become involved in crime.
§ Mr. Edward O'Hara (Knowsley, South)
Numerous speakers have identified three broad categories of concern about the Bill—moral objections to the promotion and exploitation by the state of gambling; the impact on the pools industry; and the impact on charities and voluntary organisations. I have an active interest in all three.
As a member of the amusement arcades action group, I am concerned about the promotion and impact of gambling. As a Merseyside Member of Parliament, I am obviously concerned about the Bill's impact on the pools industry. As a trustee of the Community Development Foundation, I am deeply concerned about the impact of a national lottery on local charities and voluntary organisations that operate at community level.
As a member of the amusement arcades action group, I start with a presumption against gambling. That is a moral but also Aristotelian principle. The Aristotelian principle to which I subscribe is that it is better to concentrate one's attention on the likelihood of the impossible than the possibility of the unlikely. In citing 780 Aristotle, I draw to the attention of the Secretary of State the virtues of the Aristotelian maxims of practical wisdom and moderation in presenting his Bill.
I acknowledge that not all right hon. and hon. Members share my moral principles, but I hope that many share my social concern for the problem gambler, and for his or her family, who will be affected by that addiction to gambling. I have no wish to be melodramatic and I freely accept that the problem gambler is not typical. However, for his or her family it is a total problem.
The Government have a duty, and it is their stated policy, not to stimulate gambling. It may be argued that promoting the national lottery does not stimulate gambling, but the Government are circumspect in that regard. They state in the White Paper:For most people"—I emphasise the words "most people"—participation in the national lottery will provide a harmless form of entertainment. Many countries which have had national lotteries for many years do not report any major adverse social effects.That is guarded language.
Evidence from the United States points to the emergence of lottery addicts and that increased availability of that form of gambling has led to addiction to other forms. I trust that the Government will give the fullest consideration to the moral issues and dangers involved in the proposal to introduce a national lottery.
A related moral issue aired by several hon. Members is whether the proceeds should be used to substitute for spending from taxation. That would be a form of parataxation of the most regressive sort if, as estimated, lottery tickets are bought in disproportionately high quantities by those on low incomes.
No doubt we will be assured that the proceeds of the lottery will provide extra funding, but that will be difficult to prove. I assure the Secretary of State that my right hon. and hon. Friends will be vigilant in guarding against attempts by the Government to set expenditure on local projects against local authorities' spending allocations. Such an attempt would be cynical in the extreme. I ask the Secretary of State to give whatever assurance he can that that will not happen. If the right hon. Gentleman cannot give such an assurance because, as he said himself, he cannot predict future Government expenditure—he should say what measures he will seek to introduce to ensure that such a thing does not happen.
As a Member of Parliament representing a Merseyside constituency, of course I share the concerns expressed by my hon. Friends about the effect of the national lottery on the pools industry. Of the 6,500 jobs that it provides, 4,600 or more are on Merseyside. They are expected to halve in the first year of the national lottery's operation and to reduce by three quarters by 1996–97. A further 2,000 jobs in Glasgow, Cardiff and London will disappear almost immediately.
Moreover, not only jobs directly connected with the pools industry will be affected. It is estimated that between 70,000 and 80,000 pools collectors, earning about £20 a week, will be reduced to 30,000. Their jobs are important to the economy of Merseyside and to the wider economy of the country as a whole.
The process workers in the pools headquarters in Merseyside are mostly female and the Government may regard their jobs as less important than men's—as second incomes supplementing family budgets. Opposition 781 Members reject such prejudice against female workers, who are entitled to work in their own right; but, even if we leave that argument aside, in an econoy as depressed as Merseyside's it is highly likely that such jobs produce the only family wage.
Nor must we forget the income lost to the pools collectors. If someone takes on the arduous task of door-to-door collecting for £20 a week, that £20 must make an important difference to the family budget. It must be seen in that light—not as a mere £20 income, but as a £20 loss to a family budget that is already stretched to its limits. The Bill puts between 70,000 and 80,000 such vulnerable family budgets at risk.
We who oppose the Bill are not seduced by suggestions that the pools industry may have the opportunity to administer the national lottery. Certainly, the Merseyside pools companies are well qualified to do so, on grounds of experience, resources and systems. However, we would like more guarantees and such guarantees are contrary to the Government's ideology. We also note that the number of jobs gained would only partly offset the number of jobs lost. Evidence suggests that lotteries can be run on minimal staffing. For example, in the New Jersey lottery, 185 staff were required to administer income of £825 million. In the Pennsylvania state lottery, 161 people were required to administer a turnover of about £1 billion. As my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Kilfoyle) said earlier, 147 people were required to run the West German lottery. To present the pools companies with an offer to run the national lottery is like inviting the work force of the pools industry to apply for membership of the firing squad that will execute those whose applications fail.
Much more important, if the lottery is introduced, the pools companies should be allowed to operate on equal terms, as described by my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Broadgreen (Mrs. Kennedy). Five principles should apply. The collection of pools coupons should be allowed from retail outlets; television advertising should be allowed; promotion of the game of lucky numbers should be allowed; roll-up jackpots should be allowed; and there should be a level playing field on tax outtake.
Let me now turn to the impact on smaller charities and voluntary organisations. I share the general concern that money spent on lottery tickets will largely displace money spent on donations to charities. It is all very well to say that money will be disbursed to charities from the net proceeds of the lottery; but, to a particular charity, £1 donated is £1 income. NOP research suggests that substitute funding from the proceeds of the lottery may be as little as between 3.5p and 6p for a particular charity. That is the harsh reality behind global figures such as the National Council for Voluntary Organisations' estimate of annual loss to voluntary organisations of £232 million per annum. We must view the problem in terms of the particular impact on particular charities and voluntary organisations—that is, at local level.
As the chief executive of the Community Development Foundation has pointed out,half or more of the voluntary sector consists of local groups and organisations which are not members of national organisations"—although it is likely that the big national organisations will be the major beneficiaries of the proceeds of a national lottery. He went on: 782Indigenous local voluntary groups are not the tail-end of the voluntary sector, but on the contrary are its roots and in aggregate its largest part. In any scheme to distribute benefits of the national lottery to charities, these local organisations are liable to be overlooked unless definite measures are devised to take them into account.In other words, mechanisms must be built into the administration of a national lottery, in terms of both collection and distribution of income.
I have numerous objections in principle to the Bill, as well as numerous practical objections. The hon. Member for Crosby (Sir M. Thornton) mentioned the call of the distant drum. Let me quote Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubaiyat more fully:Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!The message of the drums is unemployment in the pools industry, damage to local charities and voluntary organisations and damage to the very people who need those organisations—the very people who would contribute to a national lottery. That is inequitable, in principle.
The reasoned amendment goes some way towards meeting those objections and I shall support it. However, investigations are necessary in regard to other aspects of the Bill before it can safely be introduced. For that reason, I shall oppose its Second Reading.
§ 8.5 pm
§ Mr. James Paice (Cambridgeshire, South-East)
Earlier, there was much talk of the lottery being a tax. I wish that all taxes were as voluntary as participation in the lottery will be.
I welcome the principle behind the Bill. I am rather sad that the debate has been marred by so much discussion about jobs in the pools industry. Surely hon. Members should have lifted their eyes to the much greater opportunity that it will provide for the public good in so many important areas. I do not wish to mention all the good causes that will benefit: they are all worthy and I know that the task of deciding which should benefit, and how the money shall be spent, will be invidious. The fundamental issue at stake is this: will the lottery attract new money, or will it divert money from existing opportunities, mainly in the gambling and betting area?
My own view—and, I suspect, that of many others—is that the lottery will do a bit of each. I think that the majority will be new money and that many of the concerns expressed will prove groundless; I also think that, inevitably, there will be a certain degree of diversion.
I want to make two points. The first concerns the question of diversion. The House will be aware of my particular interest in the racing industry, for constituency reasons and because I am chairman of the all-party committee. The lottery's impact on the racing industry concerns me greatly. The settlement in February last year of the horse racing levy—which came at the same time as the reduction in the general betting duty, which targeted the levy to raise £48 million—was widely welcomed: it constituted a major gesture by the Government to help the industry, in response to the previous year's report by the Select Committee on Home Affairs. It is generally recognised, however, that that is the bare minimum that the industry needs to survive. The horse racing levy simply returns to the industry money taken from it by the exploitation of its product: it is part of the major income that allows the industry to continue.
783 In the past two years, there has been a fall in general betting turnover, which means a fall in Government taxation and also in horse race betting levy. In 1991–92, general betting turnover fell in cash terms—let alone real terms—for the first time in 10 years. The Irish experience has been prayed in aid several times today. Before the introduction of a lottery, there was considerable evidence of positive growth in betting turnover—over and above inflation—every year. Since the introduction of the lottery, that trend has been substantially reduced. Any reduction, therefore, in betting turnover will, because the horse race betting levy is decided on a percentage system, have a knock-on effect on the industry. To put that statement into context, horse racing in this country employs about 100,000 people.
Nobody knows what will happen. I hope and believe that the concerns that have been expressed will prove to be completely misplaced. Until it is in place, nobody knows what the impact of the lottery will be. I do not therefore ask the Government to make sure that the racing industry receives a good share of the hand-out from the lottery. All that I ask is that the Government should reassure the House, and through the House the industry, that if there is obvious evidence that the betting levy is falling as a result of the introduction of the lottery they will look at ways of increasing the money that is returned to the racing industry. Without it, the industry will suffer severely.
The money returned to racing could be increased simply by increasing the percentage of the levy, perhaps backed by a reduction in general betting duty. I do not believe, however, that that is really necessary. If 15 per cent. of the money that has been spent on horse race betting moves over to the lottery and if lottery turnover amounts to £4 billion, that would remove, in one go, the additional £13 million that the Government arranged to be put into the industry a year ago, thus undoing all that good. I hope that my hon. Friend will be able to reassure me about what when he replies on behalf of the Government, not just on behalf of his Department.
My second point is this. I hope very much that the introduction of this national institution will herald the liberalisation of our attitude towards gambling, betting, lotteries and all the other ways of enjoying our money in a speculative way. As the Government are the progenitor of a national lottery, they cannot at the same time connive at suppressing other betting activities.
Only last week my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary announced that betting shops would be able to open in the evenings. That is a step towards liberalising our attitude to betting. For how much longer must betting shops white out their windows, as though they were as insidious as sex shops? How much longer will it be before people appreciate that it is a perfectly reasonable activity to bet on horses, just as it will be a perfectly reasonable activity to buy a lottery ticket? Many people go to the races and happily queue up at the tote or the bookmakers stand to put a bet on a horse, but they act furtively if they venture into bookmakers' shops because they are not proud of entering a shop whose activities are hidden from view.
The hon. Member for Knowsley, South (Mr. O'Hara) referred to the fact that amusement arcades are proliferating. I share his concern about that development. 784 I believe that they are a far greater danger to young people, who waste money in amusement arcades and often resort to criminal activities to fund their addiction to amusement arcade machines.
The Government must level the famous playing field about which we have heard so much. The need to advertise must be recognised. If the national lottery is to be allowed to advertise, it is only fair that other forms of betting and gambling should be able to advertise. I hope that betting shops will soon be allowed to open on Sunday, a point that would perhaps have been better made last Friday.
If such measures were introduced, betting would be able to seek in its own way to make up any loss that may result from the diversion of money to the national lottery. In my view, the Government cannot allow a national lottery without any constraints upon it to be established and at the same time leave in place constraints upon competition. I hope that lottery tickets will be sold in many places—in village shops, betting shops, post offices and, perhaps, benefit offices. The Bill will, I trust, herald a new, liberal 21st century approach to a common human activity and remove the stigma on betting and gambling. Only if they are given the opportunity to flourish will all these worthy causes benefit.
§ Mr. George Howarth (Knowsley, North)
To some extent, the hon. Member for Cambridgeshire, South-East (Mr. Paice) let the cat out of the bag, for without intending to do so he exposed the weakness of the Government's approach. I shall explain what I mean later. I intend to make only three points and I shall be as brief as possible, as I know that several hon. Members still want to speak in the debate.
§ Mr. Howarth
Yes, including my hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field), who considers the presence of the River Mersey to be an insuperable barrier between him and Liverpool. I can assure him that the ferries are still running.
In support of his case my hon. Friend the Member for Knowsley, South (Mr. O'Hara) quoted Aristotle. Perhaps I may be allowed to bring the philosophical argument more up to date by quoting what John Stuart Mill said in his essay on liberty. He made the serious point that everybody should be totally free up to the point where their freedom acts as a constraint upon somebody else's freedom. We must bear that in mind, for we are not dealing with an unregulated market in gambling. Once we accept that central point—this is where, to some extent, I agree with the hon. Member for Cambridgeshire, South-East—the Government and, indirectly, Parliament are setting limits on the activities of any private or public organisation that is involved in gambling. That is most certainly the case here.
Reference has been made to the studies that have been undertaken, although it appears that we are not to be allowed to know the outcome of the Government's own study. My hon. Friends have referred to the Coopers and Lybrand study. The hon. Member for Liverpool, Mossley Hill (Mr. Alton) referred to the Jubilee Policy Centre report. There has also been a Gulbenkian report. They have all come to the conclusion that there is a fixed amount of money in the economy that can be used for gambling in 785 one form or another and that the introduction of new options does not lead to the creation of new money for gambling. All that happens is that money is taken away from existing sources of money for gambling. Many of us, particularly those on Merseyside, fear that money will be diverted from the football pools industry and that that will have an impact on jobs. If, however, the national lottery creates new money for gambling, several hon. Members have said today that that money will come from the poorest members of the community.
It is important to subsidise the arts, the so-called culture —ballet, opera, theatre, in particular the National theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company—but it should be subsidised by central Government taxation of one kind or another. What is objectionable to me is that my constituents, who are among the poorest people in the country, should, by participating in the national lottery, be called upon to support ballet, theatre and opera. Those things should be supported, but not by that means, yet that will clearly be the implication of a national lottery.
§ Mr. Howarth
That is longer than any of my hon. Friends have had.
My hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Broadgreen (Mrs. Kennedy) clearly showed the possible effects of a lottery.
The second argument that I wish to consider is whether the football pools are games of skill or games of chance. The Secretary of State mentioned the 1963 legislation and said that if the pools are not games of skill the industry has been breaking the law for years. The pools can be a game of skill or a game of chance, and I shall give an example. Three members of my family do the pools. I am one of them, and I freely admit that for me it is a game of chance. I do a standing forecast with Littlewoods, and my predictions are based on the ages and dates of birth of my children, the number of our house and various other significant factors in my life. The two other members of my family take much time and care to predict the outcome of the following Saturday's games. Invariably they get it wrong, otherwise they would be far richer than they are today, but for them half the enjoyment of filling in a pools coupon is seeing how close their predictions are and, hopefully, winning some money.
If Ministers accept that gambling is a regulated activity, and it certainly is, they must ensure a level playing field for the new part of the industry that they are trying to create. An interview with the Secretary of State appeared in the News of the World yesterday. He said that
the pools and the National Lottery are quite different.Are not the similarities between them so great that his argument falls? Several hon. Friends have said that the national lottery and the pools offer long odds and, therefore, the chance of winning large prizes. That is one similarity.
Secondly, both are regarded as soft gambling: there is no opportunity for large roll-over jackpot prizes. Indeed, it is argued that they attract people who are not likely to get into harder forms of gambling as a result.
786 The third argument is that both are designed to benefit good causes. The Secretary of State has suggested that the lottery will pay out more than 50 per cent. With a prize fund of £14 million and an annual turnover of £1.5 billion, the figure comes to only 48.5 per cent. The lottery will pay a far lower percentage to good causes and tax than the pools.
The chance ratio for the pools is eight from 58, whereas for the lottery it will be six from 49. There are a number of similarities between the two that make the case for treating them equally unanswerable.
I urge hon. Members to vote in favour of Labour's reasoned amendment, but, more important, the Secretary of State and the Government have failed to make the case for a national lottery, as proposed in the Bill, and I therefore urge my hon. Friends and Conservative Members who agree with us to join us in voting against giving the Bill a Second Reading.
§ Mr. John Carlisle (Luton, North)
It would be churlish of Conservative Members, especially those who represent constituencies south of Liverpool, not to recognise the depth of feeling that has been expressed by so many Members on both sides of the House who represent Merseyside. I say to them and to my hon. Friend the Minister that I have some sympathy with their argument. I am concerned, as they are, about the advertising bias that the national lottery would inevitably have, which would affect the bingo industry, about which I shall say a little in a moment.
I am perhaps more concerned that the money that goes to football via the Exchequer will decrease if activity on the pools declines, as inevitably it will. Tremendous sums have been put back into football, not only by the generosity of the pools industry, which to a certain extent one must acknowledge, but by the football grounds improvement trust, by the Football Trust and by the Government putting taxpayers' money into ground improvements to meet the requirements of the Taylor report. Few league and non-league clubs have not benefited in some way from the Football Trust.
The Government must therefore answer the question that I tried to put to the Secretary of State earlier: if taxation receipts decrease, as the Coopers and Lybrand report forecasts, will the Government make good what could be a serious deficit in the moneys that go into our national game? Football clubs are always short of money, but none the less need money to improve their stadiums and bring them up to the standards outlined in the Taylor report and health and safety regulations. Merseyside Members can be assured that Conservative Members have great sympathy with their argument, even if we do not join them in the Lobby tonight. I hope that the Government will seriously consider the competitive nature of advertising and take seriously the Select Committee's recommendation that the headquarters of the lottery organisation should go to Liverpool, or certainly the Merseyside area.
Clause 26 is an admirable measure, the purpose of which is to sell as many lottery tickets as possible. All hon. Members want it to be a success because of the money that will go to the recipient organisations, yet the Government have restricted the point of sale almost to a ludicrous extent.
787 I suggest that there are two ways of making some small amendment. The first is that the 80,000 pools collectors who knock on doors every week—it is remarkable that they still do—are an obvious point of sale for national lottery tickets in conjunction with pools coupons. The Secretary of State said that there is no reason why the two should not go side by side because, as he put it, they are adjoining playing fields. If that is the case, it means that there are not only the pools organisations with their vast experience of such matters but about 80,000 people knocking on doors across the country. We understand that about one third of the population do the football pools, so that provides a great opportunity to increase ticket sales. Sales could also be increased through the use of post offices and other retail outlets.
The Government might also consider selling tickets in bingo halls. About 3 million people play bingo every week and, of that number, about 84 per cent. are women. They tend to be elderly women looking for some social atmosphere. They enjoy their game and play for modest sums. In such respectable organisations, all the prize money goes back to those who are playing and duty is paid to the Exchequer. The organisations suffer enormously because of advertising—how ridiculous that a £50,000 national bingo prize cannot be advertised in the bingo hall where one goes to play but only in the national papers. In any event, bingo halls are another possible outlet for tickets, and the Minister has the opportunity—
§ Mr. Carlisle
No. I hope that the hon. Lady will forgive me.
The Minister has the opportunity to widen the scope for selling tickets to make the lottery the success that we all want it to be.
I hope that the lottery will be so successful that it will replace the taxpayers' money which is now being used for sport, arts and heritage. The Minister has been careful to say that money must be ring-fenced—all hon. Members agree with that—but would it not be splendid if the amount of money raised could replace the money currently being paid by taxpayers for sport and the arts? Before members of the Opposition jump up, I add that that in turn could release money for health, education and housing.
I wonder whether my right hon. and hon. Friends have been a little modest in their plans. A lottery could revolutionise sport, arts and national heritage. There is a great chance of replacing taxpayers' money with money from the national lottery. Therefore, the lottery scheme must receive enormous support from not only the House but outside. It must have the widest possible sales and advertisement and, if it is to be a success, the greatest support from those within the gambling industry, including my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridgeshire, South-East (Mr. Paice), the football pools, bingo halls and other organisations.
If the scheme is a great success, my right hon. and hon. Friends will have done not only this Government but succeeding Governments a great favour by removing the burden from taxpayers and removing the political arguments which inevitably accompany the political funding of sport.
788 Clearly, sport is my main interest and I am sorry that time prevents me from saying much about it. All sports welcome the national lottery in all forms. I hope that it will be of enormous benefit throughout the world of sport, not merely among the highest flyers and for the building of new stadia but for the young sportsmen and women who lack opportunities in inner-city areas, right down to those in villages and towns. That is where we want the money to go and where we shall see the immediate benefit of the vast sums which, it is promised, the national lottery will give us.
On that basis, I give the Bill my fullest support and wish it every success in its passage through the House.
§ Mr. Peter Mandelson (Hartlepool)
Many speeches have been made since my hon. Friend the Member for Cynon Valley (Mrs. Clwyd) said, perhaps rather optimistically, at the beginning of the debate that Labour was not divided on the principle of the Bill. I have felt increasingly isolated—physically, not politically—as I sat waiting to make my speech. I listened to most of my hon. Friends—
§ Mr. Mandelson
—from Liverpool and elsewhere making it clear that they would like the whole idea to disappear out of sight. They have made a strong case and expressed great concern to which I think all hon. Members must be extremely sympathetic, not least the Ministers who are responsible for introducing the Bill.
The strength of my hon. Friends' case stems from the huge employment implications and potential costs, not only in Merseyside but in Glasgow and Cardiff, if the lottery were to be introduced and were to operate in such a way as to drive out the pools industry and lead to unemployment. We have heard some immensely powerful speeches—chiefly from hon. Members representing Merseyside constituencies—by which it would be almost impossible for the Government to fail to be swayed.
Nevertheless, it would be a mistake if we were to oppose the Bill. I offer at least a bridge, if not a level playing field, between myself and the many like me who favour the concept of a national lottery and other right hon. and hon. Friends. Perhaps I can provide some glue or a gloss—more appropriately—so that we can emerge rather more united from the debate.
It would be a colossal mistake for the Labour party to repeat the historical error that it made in opposing the introduction of premium bonds. It would be a mistake for three reasons. It would be very unwise for us to create the impression of being uninterested in and going against the tide of public opinion as though we were against new ideas merely because they were new and as though we were, in an old-wordly way, against innovation. I do not want to introduce a modernising argument or tendency to the debate, but we should remember that opposition to the lottery cannot possibly be regarded as the test of socialist purity. If that were the case, I do not know where it would leave all the constituency Labour parties which run raffles and bingo to raise funds. We should remind ourselves that it was not so long ago that my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) said from the Front Bench that the Labour party would consider introducing a national lottery in the future.
789 Secondly, it would be unfortunate and highly undesirable for the Labour party to appear to be under the sway of a vested interest—we can safely leave vested interests to the Tory party, which is much more practised and proficient at being swayed than the Labour party. We must remind ourselves that the pools industry, from which we have heard a great deal in recent weeks, has not been arguing against the principle of a lottery—it has been arguing for fair competition, not no competition.
Thirdly, we must avoid adopting what I might call a rather sniffy, moralistic and intolerant attitude to those who want to have a flutter. I understand the argument about working people's income being used to finance middle-class interest in the arts and culture, but we need to guard against a trace of snobbery entering our remarks on that subject.
As it happens, I was brought up rather strictly by my parents never to gamble. I have never done so, either in the soft way, as it is called, or in the hard way. However, it was also taught by my parents to respect what others did for their fun and to get their kicks as long as it did not interfere with the fun of others and as long as it was not anti-social. A degree of tolerance and respect for how other people choose to enjoy themselves and how they choose to spend their money should be a feature of our attitude on this subject. The lottery is in that category.
The lottery will not have the impact on the quality of life which Ministers have advertised for it. It is as if the millennium arrived on the mere publication of the Bill. None the less, Ministers have exaggerated to make a point and it cannot be denied that in the absence of very much else about which people can shout under this Government, the national lottery will bring some individual enjoyment to many people. It will bring many benefits to organisations big and small for which they will have reasons to thank the Government for the creation of the national lottery.
The unanswered question for me is not whether we should be in favour of the national lottery; that question has been answered. The question for me is whether the national lottery should go ahead in the form proposed by the Government.
I have sat here throughout the debate and have heard the questions put to the Secretary of State. The attitude that he and his hon. Friend the Minister have displayed to the concerns expressed about constituency matters has been somewhat callous. They seem to be somewhat indifferent to the arguments made. They have been rather irresponsible in the way in which they have replied to those points, both in Question Time this afternoon and in the debate this evening.
Having recognised in the past the understandable concerns of the pools industry and having undertaken to consult extensively and to conduct research, the Government have indisputably hidden the findings of that research. They have ignored the concerns, which they previously described as understandable, of the pools industry and of hon. Members who represent constituents who are employed in that industry and they have simply buried the consultations—
§ Mr. Mandelson
The Minister shakes his head. He will have an opportunity to reply to the debate and we shall all be interested in what he says. The impression created by 790 Ministers so far has been that they have been indifferent to the concerns expressed. It is appropriate and timely for Ministers to say more and to do more to acknowledge and to accommodate the legitimate concerns.
The pools industry and the national lottery occupy the same position in the marketplace. They both offer a remote chance of winning a large prize for a small stake. It is not reasonable for the lottery, as the nationalised player in the market, to be specially helped and abetted, as the Government propose. The Government must again consider creating a fair competitive framework in relation to advertising, marketing and distribution. I should have thought that the Government, committed as they are to a free market ideology, would not need a lecture on the subject of markets from a socialist like me. However, I am happy to deliver that lecture, of which I hope the Government will be mindful.
Money goes from the pools industry to football. I represent Hartlepool, whose football club tragically—due to unforeseen circumstances and a little local difficulty not of its making—was forced to appear in the High Court last week. Most regrettably, the club faces the indignity of being wound up. I look for encouragement, if not a generous contribution, for my football club when the Minister replies to the debate. He will not be surprised that I express considerable concern about the possibility of that money being jeopardised if the lottery succeeds at the expense of the pools.
Some £45 million annually goes to the football industry from the pools. That is a substantial sum. The best estimate made is that less than one tenth of the money presently going into football from the pools would be available if a national lottery were set up. That is serious, not only in view of the financial fragility of clubs such as mine, but for the sake of all the physical improvements, the safety measures and the developments that the Football Trust notably finances.
In setting up the lottery, if they are successful tonight, the Government are creating new opportunities. The House has a duty to protect what exists and is already enjoyed. The House must protect the money on which sport presently depends. It is the duty of the Government to ensure that in creating this opportunity, negative consequences do not flow.
I hope that hon. Members will support the amendment tabled by my right hon. and hon. Friends, although I believe that it would be wrong for us subsequently to vote against Second Reading. However, I point out that votes given on Second Reading can easily be taken away on Third Reading if the necessary changes are not made in Committee.
§ Mr. Andrew Hargreaves (Birmingham, Hall Green)
I pay tribute to the hon. Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Mandelson) for many of his remarks with which Conservative Members largely concur. We were all slightly amazed by the rather sniffy attitude adopted by one or two Opposition Members towards people taking a flutter especially, as the hon. Gentleman said, when it goes on in most political parties throughout the country.
It is even stranger for Conservative Members to hear Labour Members expounding the virtues of cosseting a private sector company. The hon. Member for Hartlepool rightly said that a nationalised institution, or at least the 791 nationalised part of an industry, should not be cosseted. I look forward to remarks in a similar vein when we come to talk about the coal industry or any of the other remaining nationalised industries which face competition from private sector companies.
It seems extraordinary to Conservative Members that in this debate on a national lottery quite so much attention has been devoted to the pools by Opposition Members. As I mentioned earlier, the pools companies are private sector companies. Although, under certain pressure from the Government, they remit money back into football, that money is not widely distributed. If I am fortunate enough to be a member of the Committee and if measures to level the playing field are agreed, I shall look for proposals to ensure that the pools industry contributes in a more even-handed way to sport generally and perhaps to the arts. The whole purpose of the national lottery is that it will endow the arts, sport and the new millennium fund.
The whole merit of the national lottery is that it will raise money for good causes. As such, I am sure that most hon. Members support it. It is regrettable that the Bill seems to create a conflict in terms of competition with the pools. However, there is a case for arguing that the broader interest should prevail, although not necessarily to the total detriment of our other interests.
The broader interest is clearly that the national lottery will provide additional money for a host of excellent causes for which money would otherwise be in very short supply. It is now many years since public subscription for good causes was a fashionable or successful way of raising money.
I worked in the arts for some time as an auctioneer. Alas, it is extremely difficult to find patrons willing to endow museums or even to purchase important works of art for the nation. Therefore, I very much hope that the various funds to which the lottery will contribute will be able to make up that shortfall.
I was slightly alarmed when my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State indicated that the element that might be paid to Scotland might be out of proportion to the numbers there. As a good Birmingham Member, I will oppose that. I naturally feel that the money should be spent where the numbers are and in the same proportion.
I concur with my colleagues on the Conservative Benches and with the hon. Member for Cynon Valley (Mrs. Clwyd) that we must have a secure way of ensuring that the tax take is not too high. The hon. Member for Cynon Valley mentioned a figure of 15 per cent. I believe that must be the absolute maximum. I would support my hon. Friend the Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Mr. Howarth), who made an excellent contribution to the debate, who suggested that it might be in the Treasury's longer-term interest to have a 0 per cent. or perhaps at most a 5 per cent. take.
It would be totally ludicrous for us to support the concept of an institution to raise money for good events and causes if most of that money was simply recouped in general taxation. That is not the purpose of the Bill. Hon. Members on both sides of the House must co-ordinate to ensure that the Treasury does not acquire creepingly that reasonable percentage that would otherwise go to those good causes.
792 We must also be very careful that we do not succumb to special pleading. I am glad that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has set up structures for the distribution of the funds that may become available. However, I would like to examine one or two of them again—particularly on the sporting side—in Committee to decide whether they are the best means of distributing the money that is raised in the fairest and most equitable fashion. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will know of my interest in removing drugs from sport. I would obviously like to ensure that the bodies which distribute the money can get that money where it needs to go, without hindrance.
We might try to find common ground on both sides of the House to assist smaller charities—and, indeed, the pools industry—in relation to which games the national lottery will encompass. Reference has been made to scratch cards and to whether the pools involve skill or total chance. Of course, the Skilball games are separate from that and there are also computer lotto number games.
I will seek to be persuaded in Committee that the national lottery needs quite such a wide variety of games. It may be more successful if it is identified with two specific types of game. I hope that we can examine that element more carefully in Committee.
As many of my colleagues still wish to speak in the debate, I will be brief. I hope that my right hon. and hon. Friends who are responsible for the Bill's progress in Committee will not offer themselves too much as hostages to fortune in trying to appease the pools industry. Those of us who have striven on behalf of the arts and on behalf of sport generally also have our corner to fight. The level playing field must be considered to be level only if the causes to which it contributes are also level, and in degree. However, I will support the Bill on Second Reading.
§ Mr. Frank Field (Birkenhead)
I shall be brief, as I have only one point to make. Reference has been made tonight to the motion introduced by Ken Hargreaves two or possibly three Parliaments ago. I put my name to that motion and I voted for it. Indeed, I believe that I was the only Labour Member at the time to support the motion for a national lottery. I want to use my contribution tonight to explain why I will vote for the reasoned amendment and against the Bill's Second Reading.
We are talking about a measure that will decimate the pools industry and the jobs of those who work in it. That is one of the certainties about the Bill. The Secretary of State produced some figures and my colleagues presented other figures. Against that loss of jobs, we must realise that some of our fellow citizens are struggling to survive in a country that is now suffering its worst depression since the 1930s. The depression is on that scale.
We have spent this afternoon and this evening debating a Bill that will put many people out of work, including many in my constituency and in neighbouring constituen-cies, on the chance that other jobs and opportunities will be created and, as the former Home Secretary said, because the Bill will cheer us up. I can assure the Secretary of State for National Heritage that the Bill will not cheer my constituents up.
When the hon. Member for Luton, North (Mr. Carlisle) intervened in the introductory speeches, he was right to question whether we are talking about full-time or part-time jobs. Many of the jobs that we are talking about 793 on Merseyside are part-time jobs. However, they carry a wage packet which is sufficient to take those families above the benefit level. Therefore, those wages act as full-time wages. The Bill will destroy many of those jobs. I do not believe that we have the right to destroy them without creating other opportunities.
The Secretary of State is a cultured, fair and witty man. When, in his introductory comments, he reached the point about level playing fields, a brief hint of humour crossed his face as he knew that that was the dodgiest part of his contribution. He knew that it was crucial to argue that there were fundamental differences between the pools and what was to be offered. He knew that, if he put the national lottery as proposed and the pools on an equal playing field, one or other would survive, but possibly not his treasured national lottery.
The Secretary of State knows that his arguments about skill are untrue. If it means bringing the pools industry under another Act, it should be regulated by that Act. The right hon. Gentleman knows that, in the game that is about to commence, it is crucial that the pools have an equal chance with the national lottery to promote and advertise their wares. He knows also that, if he denies them that opportunity, as assuredly as anyone could be, he will be destroying jobs in Merseyside, Birkenhead, Cardiff and Glasgow.
It is extraordinary that, when we are still at the bottom —one hopes that it is the bottom and that there is not worse to come—of the worst depression since the 1930s, we should seriously think about giving a Second Reading to a measure which will destroy jobs, many of which are in my constituency. That is why I was happy to support the idea of a national lottery; I believed that its time was coming. However, until we deal with unemployment and give security to people who are currently in employment in the pools industry, we are talking about a vote to add to the official total of 3 million unemployed and possibly the true total of 4 million.
For that reason, and for that reason alone, I shall oppose the measure tonight. It is, as hon. Members have argued, a sectional interest. For too long we have tolerated the comfy cartel of those who are in employment which has operated against many of my constituents who are unemployed, and I am not joining it tonight.
§ Mr. Robert Banks (Harrogate)
I am grateful to be called at this late stage, Madam Deputy Speaker.
History has a habit of repeating itself. I dare say that our predecessors are looking down at us, or even up at us, and recalling that, in 1569, the first lottery in this country was held to raise funds to repair the Cinque ports. The prizes were plate, tapestry and money. Lotteries over the following hundreds of years went on. We found ourselves giving not only donations to the English plantations in Virginia in 1612 but fresh water to London, and relieving the ransom demands of English slaves in Tunis—all raised from lottery funds. Westminster bridge was built in 1739 and the British museum acquired its treasures and its building in 1753 from the sale of lottery tickets.
We have come full circle back to lotteries. We have heard many Littlewoods speeches tonight and we have heard much about effects on the pools industry. I do not feel that the pools industry will be decimated, but it will have to take a bit of a knock. However—this point has not 794 been stressed enough—we have a terrific opportunity for more employment in the printing industry, through the distribution of lottery tickets and through the money that will be given to charities, sport and heritage causes. I am convinced that more jobs will be generated than will be lost.
Certain aspects of the Bill demand to be voiced. One is that the operator who will be appointed to promote and administer the lottery should be a British company. Clearly no one in this country has experience of running a national lottery, and I should be very surprised if a British company was doing so overseas; I know of none. Nevertheless, why do not the pools companies act positively, try to form a consortium and have something to do with the operation of the lottery?
It is important to consider how tickets are to be sold. I want the lottery to be blatantly biased in favour of small businesses and sub-post offices which should be able to sell tickets. At railway stations, terminals and so on, why not promote kiosks and allow people with disabilities to play a part in selling tickets? I should very much like to see in the British lottery operation an accent on the employment of disabled and disadvantaged people in the administration of the lottery and the sale of tickets. I do not want tickets to be sold through machines. The people element is most important.
It is important that we see the draw on television and that it is publicised. After all, the pools get the rundown on a number of draws on Saturdays. The draw must use television to its best advantage. The value of prizes is of immense importance. The size of prizes will have a crucial bearing on the success of the lottery.
My hon. Friend the Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Mr. Howarth) cleverly referred to tax. It is very important that the Government do not take out tax. If we give money to arts enterprises, sport, charities and the millennium fund, it is important that the Government do not get their hands on the money and deprive people of the funds that we want them to have. The lottery will create a huge cash flow. The operator must take full account of the fact that he can draw interest on the cash flow as it enters the system and before it is parcelled out to the different authorities. It is important that we understand where the lottery proceeds will go. There must be no confusion that the Arts Council has its own budget but which is supplemented by lottery funds. The public must be clear on where the national lottery funds are spent. As has been said in the debate, it is important that funding of our Arts Council, the Sports Council and so on do not suffer because of the money which will come to them from lotteries.
As I have said, there are a number of matters which must be examined, including the reference to charities. There are hundreds of thousands of charities in the United Kingdom. It is difficult to determine which charities should receive the funds. That matter must be addressed with great thoroughness to observe the terms of reference.
I shall end by referring to the millennium fund. We must have a spectacular development. France has built the great La Défense, which is the most incredible building and one of the great sites in Europe. In the United Kingdom, what do we have? We have absolutely nothing. We do not even have a museum of modern art. Provincial cities in Germany have the most spectacular museums of modern contemporary art. We do not have that even in London. It is a national disgrace. I hope that the funds will be specifically earmarked in that direction.
795 For goodness sake, if we do nothing else with the millennium fund, let us do something which is architecturally great and which will put the City of London and the provinces firmly on the international map.
§ 9.3 pm
§ Mrs. Audrey Wise (Preston)
I shall be brief. I have sat through this debate and I have been waiting for an answer to a specific question: where will the money come from? I have heard speculation about how much it will be—anything from £1.5 billion to £4 billion—and I have heard discussion about how the money should be utilised. I have not heard any hon. Member tell me where it will come from.
None of the proponents of the measure will say where the money will come from. It is an important matter because the idea that new money will be spent in addition to the football pools, the charitable giving and so on is extraordinary. Who is sitting around with all that money in his sock or under the mattress in this depression? It is certainly not my constituents who are having difficulty in paying their rent or mortgages or buying their clothes. If they start spending on the national lottery, what will they not spend on, for which they would otherwise have used the money? That is an important question.
I have been told, "Don't worry about the fact that members of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers will lose their jobs at Merseyside, Glasgow and Cardiff because other jobs will be created." The right hon. Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker) said that about 80,000 jobs might result from the new money which is apparently being created specifically for the national lottery. Members of my union will not only lose their jobs at Merseyside, but families will suffer because money will be diverted. The people who make the goods and services on which they presently spend the £1.5 billion to £4 billion will also suffer. I do not know who it will be. I do not know whether there will be worse unemployment in the house construction industry or whether the members of my union who work in retailing and who are already in a deep recession will find an even bigger recession. I suspect that will happen.
People say that the Bill is a great idea. The hon. Member for Harrogate (Mr. Banks) told us that a huge cash flow would be generated by the lottery. Where is that cash now and on what is it being spent? Who is able to contribute the largesse for this national lottery? That is the question that I want answered.
I have a subsidiary question. We have heard loads of lyrical statements about swimming pools, sports stadiums and contributions to the arts. Why are they good if they come from a national lottery and bad if they come from local authorities? Without an answer to those two questions I shall not only vote for the amendment but also vote against the Second Reading.
§ Mr. Tim Rathbone (Lewes)
I hope that the hon. Member for Preston (Mrs. Wise) will forgive me if I do not follow up her two pertinent questions. I should like to raise half a dozen swift points at this late hour. I should like to pick up the points made by the hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field). We need to give consideration to 796 the people who have been working in the pools as the House takes a decision that has a direct bearing on their employment. It is not often that we take such decisions, but this is one of them. The Minister should give us some reassurance in his reply that help will be given to those people. I hope that that reassurance will immediately bring the hon. Member for Birkenhead and others back on to the right side of the voting pattern this evening.
With that rider, I thoroughly welcome the Bill, although I wish to make one or two stipulations. May I follow the two valleys—my right hon. Friend the Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker) and the hon. Member for Cynon Valley (Mrs. Clwyd)—in saying, "Keep the Treasury's hand out of the till." The maximum amount of money should go to good works, the arts, sport, heritage and so on. I hope that we shall aim to direct a minimum of a quarter of the sums raised to such works, but that we shall have it in our mind to push the amount up to a third. That should be the aim of the operators of the national lottery, bearing in mind administrative costs, too.
The lottery will need to be imaginatively and professionally run and imaginatively marketed. The organisers should use every modern technique. We should try to run the lottery with greater efficiency than any other lottery in the world. That will mean that more funds will be available for the good works for which the lottery was originally devised. It must be simple and readily available and must operate in a way which allows the maximum number of people to participate.
The use of roll-ups should be carefully studied in Committee. They should not be ruled out now, as people tend to do. They can be a successful influence in the operation of lotteries.
The funds raised by the national lottery could be put to myriad uses. One use has not been mentioned so far. Perhaps only through the lottery shall we be able swiftly to effect better access for disabled people to the span of arts and heritage buildings to which they so often cannot gain entrance. In some instances, it requires a considerable sum of money to provide access. I hope that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will bear that in mind.
I have five warnings to give. One has already been given by many others. The lottery money must be additional to other money. It must be additional to not only Government funding in general but Government funding in specific cases. That is important. It must also be additional to current charitable and voluntary funding. I hope that it will be additional to the excellent funding provided by the Foundation for Sport and the Arts, which in turn comes from the pools. It is much appreciated. I am sure that there is no constituency which has not benefited from such funding. They are small amounts of money, but they make a huge difference locally. It must be additional to contributions from business sponsorship of the arts and the matching Government funds that go with that—it must not be instead of any of these.
Secondly, large and small requirements must be considered—not merely the marvellous idea for a Welsh national opera house, but help for local museums, art and theatre groups, community arts and so forth. That is where the root of British culture is to be found—great oak trees grow from very small acorns.
Thirdly, small charities and voluntary organisations must be given the same leeway as the national lottery and 797 must be allowed to promote themselves in new ways and sell themselves in new locations, to enable them to continue their good work on the ground.
Fourthly, I question the choice of the National Heritage Memorial Fund as the principal acting in the purchase of new buildings. It has done the most marvellous job of funding and of saving our heritage and can be the instrument to do that, but it will skew its operations if it has to become the principal saviour of our heritage.
Finally, with one rider, it is crucial to allow any lotteries of fund-raising activities similar to the national lottery the same freedoms—the same promotional, advertising and sales activities. As my hon. Friend the Member for Harrogate (Mr. Banks) said, we have an opportunity to direct distribution of lottery tickets through small local businesses, which need every bit of support in these days of large supermarkets and superstores.
With those riders, I am pleased to support my right hon. and learned Friends in the Lobby this evening.
§ Mr. Torn Pendry (Stalybridge and Hyde)
I hope that the House will forgive me if I do not give way, as the Minister and I have decided to cut down our speeches to allow as many hon. Members as possible to take part.
The House is at its best when debating a subject that contains a cocktail of interests that span conventional party lines and we have had such a debate this evening. We have heard passionate and heart-felt speeches from both sides of the Chamber about moral, ethical, sectional and constituency concerns. Weighty arguments have been advanced for and against the Bill.
By now, Ministers responsible for this legislation are aware that many hon. Members on both sides of the House have no intrinsic objection to the principle of a national lottery—myself included—but feel that the Bill is not the way. Equally, as the House has heard, many hon. Members cannot accept a lottery at any price.
The fear that jobs in the pools industry could be lost, affecting their constituencies, is the main concern of many other hon. Members. They were sent to this House to represent their constituents' interests. We have tabled our amendment because of our affinity with the latter group and because a record number of our work force are in the dole queues in their thousands in areas such as Liverpool, Glasgow, Cardiff and east London, where the pools companies are situated.
The pools industry has not been afforded anything like the level playing field for which it asked so that it could compete in the same market place as the national lottery and my hon. Friends the Members for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Kilfoyle), Liverpool, Broadgreen (Mrs. Kennedy), Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Wareing), Knowsley, North (Mr. Howarth), Knowsley, South (Mr. O'Hara) and for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) argued that passionately and eloquently. I am sure that their constituents will be proud of the way in which they batted on their behalf.
On a lighter note, the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel) has shown us a unique way to display his Garrick club tie.
On a serious note, my hon. Friend the Member for Cynon Valley (Mrs. Clwyd) made a powerful speech. She raised important issues that were picked up by the right hon. Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker), the right hon. 798 and learned Member for Putney (Mr. Mellor) and others, which I hope the Minister will answer. In particular, I hope that the Minister will address the issue that my hon. Friend the Member for Cynon Valley raised as a result of acquiring—by whatever means—a Conservative research department brief. That paper stated:Wherever possible, lottery money will be given on a partnership basis, with donations from the private sector or local authorities augmenting input from lottery funds.I hope that the Minister will comment on that important issue.
My hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, Central and Royton (Mr. Davies) made an important, but perhaps obvious, point when he said that some capital should be invested in sport and the arts. I refer him to the briefing of the National Campaign for the Arts, which states:It is always easy for politicians to justify putting up a building with a suitable commemorative plaque in prominent view. It is less politically rewarding—and usually extremely difficult—to prise out the money year on year for its operation.We have seen too many white elephants up and down the country as a result of such exercises. I hope that the Bill will contain an assurance that, where money is given, it continues to be made available for the upkeep of the sports hall, museum or art gallery.
The hon. Member for Crosby (Sir M. Thornton), who is not now in his place, said much in favour of the Opposition's stance. We shall look anxiously to see whether he joins us in the Lobby tonight. There were many other excellent speeches, but time does not allow me to refer to all of them.
It has been suggested that it is ironic—it has nothing to do with Clintonisation—that the Opposition are prepared to defend the legitimate interests of Britain's second-largest private company in the shape of Littlewoods pools, while Government Members are whipped to support what amounts to a state gambling monopoly. We take our stance in the interests of fair competition and fair play —hopefully, our argument will lend itself to many Conservative Members.
The all-party Select Committee on National Heritage came to the same conclusion. It decided that the pools industry should be treated equally in relation to advertising and marketing, the ability to roll over jackpots and the other factors raised by my Liverpool colleagues.
Some hon. Members were also concerned about the voluntary sector. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations is rightly anxious about the Bill's impact on its members. We shall insist that the commitment made by the Under-Secretary of State when he spoke to the NCVO conference is upheld. He said:The Lottery is intended to provide an extra source of income for the charitable sector.Charities are justifiably concerned that the Bill encourages excessive gambling and want proper safeguards to minimise that possibility. They say that studies show that low income groups spend a greater proportion of their money on lotteries than high income groups. Therefore, they want low income groups to benefit significantly from national lottery funding. They want the tax levels to equate with European tax rates. They fear that charities could lose as much as £230 million a year. Those are real fears that must be assuaged by the Government.
§ Mr. Pendry
No, I shall not give way to the hon. Gentleman, who has just entered the Chamber and cannot have heard me say that I would not give way.
We should agree with the Select Committee on National Heritage, which has stressed that the National Heritage Department should monitor the lottery's impact on charities. That point was stressed by the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Mr. Howarth), who made a moving and refreshing speech. In fact, it was so refreshing that I think that he has worked his way out of being appointed to the Committee that will examine the Bill—should he ever wish to sit on it.
As someone who is known for his support of the national lottery, I feel that I should make my position clear. If there is one sin greater than an hon. Member reading back one of his speeches, perhaps it is quoting himself from a self-penned article in The Times. At the risk of penance later, however, I shall refer to what I wrote in my capacity as chairman of the Back-Bench sports committee at about the time that the hon. and learned Member for Burton (Sir I. Lawrence) proposed his national lottery. I wrote:While the possibility of a lottery, in its own form and context, is a measure which could do great things, it is vital that it fits in with existing aspects of funding and employment within the industries which it is designed to help…Sport has suffered far too long to afford further mishaps. If we are to go down the road of a National Lottery then we had better get it right.That was my position then and it is my position now. It is one that is consistent with the Opposition's position on the Bill.
The Bill that was introduced by the hon. and learned Member for Burton was flawed and rejected by the House. We, the Opposition, say that this Bill is flawed and we shall reject it. Despite the many informed voices that have given their time and the benefit of their advice and experience to the Secretary of State, he has been unwilling to be flexible. That does not augur well, does it, for the consideration of the Bill in Committee, should it go that far? The right hon. Gentleman's basic mistake was not to give interested parties the sort of information that he gleaned from his commissioned report, the Goodhall, Alexander and O'Hare report. How many Members knew that GAH stood for that?
We all recognise that some commercially sensitive material might have had to have been left out, but how much of it was really sensitive? By the Secretary of State's course of action he has given the clear impression that he has shrouded himself in secrecy on the fundamental research facts that are necessary to make informed judgments about the Bill.
§ Mr. Kilfoyle
My hon. Friend has made a fundamental point because all the research that has been undertaken by the Government involves the GAH group. Indeed, I have a written answer from the Secretary of State stating that there will be no more research. Yet I can find no track record of GAH. Is my hon. Friend able to enlighten right hon. and hon. Members about GAH?
§ Mr. Pendry
My hon. Friend is perspicacious. I was about to do just what he asks.
I was about to say that I wonder whether there is another explanation why the report has been secret and remains secret. Could it be that it lacks the quality that we are entitled to expect of a Government-commissioned 800 report? I ask because on 23 November my hon. Friend the Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson) asked the Secretary of State tostate the qualifications of the GAH Group to carry out the consultant's report on a national lottery; and if he will describe the process by which it was selected from the tenders received.In reply, the Secretary of State said:The … Group was the best qualified in terms of experience, expertise and cost."—[Official Report, 23 November 1992; vol. 214, c. 493.]That can hardly be right. We know from another answer given by the Secretary of State on 5 November to my hon. Friend the Member for Broadgreen that tenders for the contract were asked on 24 July 1992. As GAH was formed, according to Companies House, on 8 June 1992, by my calculations it was in business for 34 working days. The Secretary of State, or the Under-Secretary of State, when he replies, must tell the House why that inexperienced firm, operating out of—wait for it—Nether Wallop in Hampshire, was even approached to undertake this important service. Experienced and with expertise?—hardly. The Secretary of State must answer that. From now on we shall give these selective and secretive operations much more scrutiny.
Fortunately, despite the defensive restrictions placed on hon. Members, we have had a debate worthy of the subject.
I hope that the Secretary of State realises that it is consistent both to be committed to the concept of a national lottery and to retain sound and deeply held objections to some parts of the specific proposals in the Bill. That is why the Government should think again before attempting to pursue the Bill in its present form. It is why we are asking the House to send away the Secretary of State to think again and not to come back until such time as he has conducted a proper, open and informed national debate.
The House may decide not to take that route. If so, I assure the right hon. Gentleman that we will do our level best in Committee to improve the Bill, I hope with the assistance of Conservative Members. This is not a party issue; it transcends party lines. Let the right hon. Gentleman make no mistake—there are many Labour Members who recognise the benefit that could flow to sport, the arts and heritage from a well-structured and well-run national lottery. Unfortunately, that is not on offer tonight.
It is fair to say that over the years the football pools industry has done a great deal to prop up the Treasury with millions and millions of pounds. It is a disgrace that Ministers have not given it the consideration that it deserves in the debate and in the Bill. The underfunding of sport and the arts has been little short of a national disgrace for many years. Hon. Members have rightly highlighted the problems for those trying to promote sporting and artistic activity.
My hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton)—a man who knows his football—made an interesting and hard-hitting speech. He clearly made the point that, following the Taylor report, the Government introduced legislation that makes it difficult for football clubs to survive. They have also suffered swingeing increases in police costs. The pools industry, which puts some £100 million a year into sport, is their lifeline. It is the 801 industry that is trying to help the footballers and their clubs. The Government should say what they would do for football.
The Bill contains many deep-seated flaws with which the Minister must deal when he replies. A central flaw is the lack of accountability. We welcome the principle enshrined in schedule 6 for a balanced membership on the proposed millennium fund, including a nominee from the Leader of the Opposition. Why not extend that principle to the rest of the Bill and to the national lottery itself? It appears that the Government believe that accountability is an expensive luxury to be granted for only a limited part of the millennium celebrations before being buried. That is not good enough. If the national lottery is to be a lottery of the nation, it must be seen to represent the nation in its operation. Too much power rests with the Secretary of State, as has been recognised by many organisations—not least the Lottery Promotion company, which has done more than anyone to put the national lottery on the agenda.
There are many other flaws in the Bill, but time does not permit me to go into them in detail. I will give a list of them to the Minister, who can then reply. Supporters and sceptics alike should unite because we are not prepared to have a national lottery that fails to deal with the needs and concerns of the whole nation and that is flawed and inconsistent. Unfortunately, that is precisely the prospect that faces us. I urge the House to send the Bill packing and to vote for our amendment.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for National Heritage (Mr. Robert Key)
Tonight's debate has been remarkable and special because so many right hon. and hon. Members have contributed. Including Members of both Front Benches, 31 speakers have caught your eye, Madam Speaker, or that of the Deputy Speaker. That itself is something of a record. The quality of debate has been high. The debate has been measured, temperate and well-informed—and of how many debates in this Chamber can we say that? That bodes well for the Committee stage that I trust that the House will approve.
The national lottery was a manifesto commitment, and nine months of national debate have drawn to a natural conclusion. We met the charities and the pools organisations, and held discussions with the bodies who are to distribute the moneys as to how they are to do that, how best to meet our objectives, and so on. After nine months, that debate is reaching a predictable and well-measured conclusion.
I hope that my answers will help to allay the fears that have not unreasonably been expressed during the debate. However, I have been asked well over 100 questions and I have a little over 20 minutes in which to answer them. I hope that the House will allow me to attempt to answer many of them and that right hon. and hon. Members will not intervene too often. The hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Mr. Pendry) pointed out that he would rather get on with his arguments—and I would like to answer the questions.
§ Mr. Wareing
The Minister said that the issue had been debated for nine months, but it was only on 9 December that the Secretary of State for National Heritage held discussions with members of the Pools Promoters Association. He subsequently spoke of a "continuing constructive discussion". The Minister spoke of discussions reaching "a natural conclusion." Can he give an assurance that there will be further discussions with the Pools Promoters Association and with the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers before the Bill is finalised in Committee?
§ Mr. Key
USDAW has not sought a meeting with me, but I have heard its representations very clearly—not least from the hon. Member for Preston (Mrs. Wise), who sought for many months to inform Ministers of her views and those of USDAW. The date given by the hon. Gentleman was accurate but there were many hours of informal discussion before that particular summit, if I may say so describe it, in December.
As for my own position, I have spoken to the pools promoters for many months about a variety of matters—not least promoting Merseyside to the United States last March with the leader of the city council and the chairman of Littlewoods pools. We visited Washington and New York and that was most successful. I am not sure whether I am allowed to quote myself from a newspaper, but I will allude to last Friday's Liverpool Daily Post. I am surprised that no hon. Members representing Liverpool constituencies made any reference to that. That clearly did not suit their purpose. I made it clear that we would listen carefully to the case that Merseyside might want to put to us on the location of the lottery's headquarters or of the games operators. That invitation was warmly received by Harry Rimmer of Liverpool city council. I am sure that we will hear more about that.
Tonight's debate engendered great interest inside and outside the House. I hope that the House will reject the Opposition amendment and choose to focus on the real issue. Giving the Bill a Second Reading will give the country what it obviously wants—an opportunity to participate in a national lottery that will bring real benefits to charities, the arts, sport, and the heritage in this country. We cannot stop our citizens from spending their money on foreign lotteries; how much better it would be if they spent their money on our own national lottery, not only to gain prizes for themselves but to benefit the good causes that we have identified in the Bill.
§ Mr. Colvin
My hon. Friend's mention of good causes prompts me to intervene on behalf of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Burton (Sir I. Lawrence). He was about to deal with this in his speech, but the 10-minute rule came into operation. The point is also relevant to a point that I was going to make about charities during the speech of the hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Mr. Pendry).
Will my hon. Friend confirm there will be nothing to stop a charitable foundation from bidding to run the lottery? The hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde suggested that charities might be out of pocket by some £230 million; that will be approximately the Treasury take, in tax, from the profits made by a company running the lottery. If it is run by a charitable foundation, all that money will go back into the kitty for the beneficiaries. I am sure that that is what most hon. Members want.
§ Mr. Key
I hope that hon. Members on both sides of the House will exercise due scepticism about every mention of figures in the debate. One or two estimates have been made, but I think that it would be wise not to speculate on some of the fairy tale arithmetic that has been bandied about.
As for the principle, it is important to recognise that one of the great benefits of our proposed system is the fact that beneficiaries of the lottery will not be involved in the distribution of funds. It is for precisely that reason that the National Heritage Memorial Fund, rather than English Heritage, has been chosen to deal with the heritage side. Otherwise, charities might have some difficulty in achieving their objectives.
§ Sir Nicholas Fairbairn (Perth and Kinross)
As chairman of the Historic Buildings Council for Scotland, I find it unfortunate that an English organisation has been chosen to distribute the funds. I also felt, listening to the debate, that sport came first and heritage nowhere. May I ask for Scottish National Heritage to have a major share and a voice in what is being done?
§ Mr. Key
I will ensure that my hon. and learned Friend is very well funded. I assure him that the National Heritage Memorial Fund is a United Kingdom organisation, not an English organisation: that is precisely why we chose it.
Opposition Members who have not spoken today, and whose voices I certainly miss, supported the private Member's Bill presented last January by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Burton (Sir. I. Lawrence). On that occasion, many of them made good speeches. This illustrates the serious dilemma in which some of them find themselves. I respect that; I do not wish it to be felt—as was suggested at one point—that Ministers are being callous, or disregarding the voice of Merseyside. That is far from the truth. The fact is that the hon. Members from Liverpool, Glasgow and Cardiff who have spoken today have found themselves in a difficult position, and have been straightforward enough to say so. Many have no difficulty with the idea of a lottery, but they do have difficulty with the unemployment prospects that they fear. I say "fear" because I believe that the pools companies have a bright future.
§ Mr. Frank Field
The Minister is mistaken. What we fear is that the national lottery will be rigged in such a way that the football pools will be unable to survive. He has misinterpreted our objections.
§ Mr. Key
I have already given way to the hon. Gentleman.
Last Friday, I went to Holland to learn at first hand about the oldest national lottery in the world. I met the Finance Minister, the director and staff of the lottery, a retail newsagent, who makes a handsome living for himself and his family by selling tickets, and the cheerful and satisfied customers of the Dutch national lottery system.
804 The Dutch national lottery is a normal and accepted part of national life. It is also, incidentally, accepted by most of the Dutch churches, which are noted for their puritanical orthodoxy. The Dutch national lottery is specifically designed not to encourage compulsive or addictive gambling and it co-exists with football pools. Thus it has much in common with our proposals.
There are, however, big differences. These differences are much envied by the Dutch. For example, there is to be a clear distinction between the body raising the revenue and the body that spends it. The same applies to competitive tendering for the operation and computerisation from the start, thus ensuring that the largest possible amount of money is raised for good causes. We shall also use existing organisations to distribute money direct to beneficiaries at local as well as national level. The Dutch also envy the flexibility that we propose to build into our national lottery in order to react to changing circumstances. They also envy our ability to offer new games to meet the needs of niche marketing.
In the past, I have not done the football pools, though not for any particular reason; nor have I betted on greyhounds, horses and so on. However, I have—and so, I guess, have most other hon. Members—bought raffle tickets endlessly in support of my party at its ward meetings. I have also bought raffle tickets in aid of churches and charities throughout my constituency. My hon. Friend the Member for Lewes (Mr. Rathbone) made a crucial point when he called for our national lottery to be the best national lottery in the world. Of course that must he right.
The pools companies have distributed to right hon. and hon. Members a package that is full of tendentious assertions and, in my view, a partial interpretation of the facts. The pools companies quote from their own Coopers and Lybrand report and from their prediction that they will have to cut over 4,000 jobs. The tables provided by the pools companies were, I found, fascinating. I wonder, though, whether they have less to do with the lottery and more to do with the pools companies' aspirations to cut the work force and whether that is why they have been seeking voluntary redundancies for some time and have cut their work force drastically over the past few years.
Selective quotations are given from the Department's report.
§ Mr. Key
I will give way, but I wish to reach the end of this point.
The pools companies know that what they say can never be refuted because, as we have said time and time again, the report was compiled with the co-operation of lottery operators world wide, on the basis that it would never be published. I am not going to break commercial promises just to disprove the narrow assertions of the pools companies [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Workington interrupts from a sedentary position and says, "Ask them." We have no intention of going back to those companies. It is unnecessary to do so because they made it clear when writing to us that under no circumstances would they give us any information if it was to be published.
§ Mrs. Jane Kennedy
The Minister has gone on record as saying that he does not wish the football pool companies 805 to be disadvantaged in their competition with the national lottery. Can he explain how that would be brought about, for it seems to me that they are disadvantaged all the way?
§ Mr. Key
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State dealt with that point in his speech. We have said all along that we see no need for concessions. We have not so far been convinced by the arguments for concessions. If I were working for the pools companies, I would say to the management that most people want a lottery, that many people play the pools and that instead of entering into an extremely expensive campaign against the whole principle of the lottery—pretending that this is not in some way self interest—it ought to take on the competition of the national lottery and say that no concessions, in order to take on that competition, are needed.
§ Mr. Graham
The Minister has referred to the pools companies. He also said that all the newsagents will make a fortune and do well out of the national lottery. What will happen, however, to the 70,000 part-time collectors whom the pools companies already pay? Those people will end up with less money in their pockets. That, in turn, will ensure that shops and everybody else lose out.
§ Mr. Key
The hon. Gentleman made a forceful and notable speech this afternoon, to which I listened with much care. One of the dilemmas that I face in deciding whether to accept the concessions that are being pressed by the pools industry is that if, for example, the pools industry were to gain a concession on retail outlets the 70,000 collectors would be the first on to the dole queues. That is a serious problem, and I am not convinced that the balance of the argument is in favour of the hon. Gentleman's proposition.
I understand that the two consultants who were engaged on the GAH report have a long and unique track record and that the new consultancy was formed at that point. There is nothing more to be said on the matter. It is a matter of great regret that the Labour party should seek to disparage the expertise of that company, which won the competition fairly and openly.
It would help the House if I reiterated the message of the GAH report. It is nothing sinister. It considered what the Department of National Heritage should be looking for in establishing a national lottery. It produced a touchstone against which we could measure the likely effectiveness of our legislation. It told us that the lottery spend throughout the world comes not from gambling spend but from general expenditure. In other words, the national lottery will not principally divert funds away from the pools. The report concluded that only if the pools did nothing would employment in the pools industry suffer. Salvation lies in the hands of the pools companies.
In an attempt to persuade the hon. Member for Preston to join us in the Lobby and not to vote against the principle, I say that we always made it clear that this was not a question of a money factory turning out new money and that there would be displaced expenditure. Research shows that that displaced expenditure would be consumer spending in, for example, high street shops on sweets, magazines or soft drinks. It is the last pennies that people have when they go shopping and decide that they have enough to spend on such products. There is nothing secret in that.
It is a pity that the Opposition have been taken in by the power of lobbying. The Opposition amendment is not a 806 runner. Of course a Bill to establish a national lottery cannot contain any measures specifically to protect employment in Merseyside or the other places mentioned in the amendment. How could the Bill constrain the employment practices of highly profitable private companies? I repeat that the action of the pools companies is more likely to lead to job losses than the coming of the national lottery. They have shown that by changing their rules they can offer a better chance of winning large jackpots. They can set their own house in order, and that they have done so is a promising sign of realism.
The pools companies ask for equal tax levels. That is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but the pools are taxed at a higher rate because their profits before tax would otherwise be 45 per cent. of turnover. They are a very profitable business, but let us be quite clear that there is nothing wrong with that. The pools companies are responsible employers and they contribute to the arts and sport, and in particular to football, because the Chancellor gave them a tax concession, but their primary purpose, which is legitimate and which they achieve highly successfully, is to make private profits for the private sector. In the Bill we are promoting the wider public good.
The hon. Member for Cynon Valley (Mrs. Clwyd) made great play of additionality. I repeat the commitment given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State that the proceeds of the national lottery should not substitute for that provided in other ways. The proceeds will not be brought within the control total, and the Government will not make any case-by-case reduction in conventional expenditure programmes to take account of lottery proceeds. The Government will continue to provide the finance necessary from within public expenditure programmes to enable their policy objectives to be achieved.
My right hon. Friend alluded to partnership funding, an issue raised by the hon. Member for Cynon Valley in relation to Conservative party briefings. We have always said that there would be partnership funding. It is entirely sensible and acceptable, and it is gaining ground in many aspects of public spending.
The hon. Member for Cynon Valley asked what guidelines there would be for Oflot on the selection of an operator. The main concern will be to ensure the probity of the company chosen to undertake the operation. The director general will be under a general duty to ensure that the lottery is operated in a way that will guarantee propriety and protect the consumer and, subject to those considerations, will raise the maximum amount of money for good causes. He will operate a selection criterion which will reflect that general duty and, in line with that duty, the company chosen will also need to prove that it has the ability to establish the machinery to run the lottery quickly and to market it effectively.
Within those overall objectives, it will be for the companies which wish to bid to produce their proposals —for example, for prize levels and administration—in order to maximise the return for good causes, and the bidding process will be fully competitive.
The hon. Member for Cynon Valley also said that we should consult widely, including the pools and charities. I have sought to deal with her point. The White Paper invited comments and more than 200 individuals and organisations responded—only 17 were against the scheme. We have worked closely with the National 807 Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Association of Charitable Foundations, and an official from my Department sat in as observer at their respective working parties. We have taken on board many of the concerns of the charitable and voluntary sectors in producing our proposals. We have also held a series of meetings with the pools organisations. First, we held a series at official level and then with the Ministers on 9 December last.
We have carefully included in the Bill a clause that admits further amendment in respect of the pools on which we are prepared to listen to rational arguments. I cannot say fairer than that. There will be an opportunity to debate that issue in Committee. The opportunity to convince us of the need for further concessions is available, and it will no doubt be taken up.
The hon. Member for Normanton (Mr. O'Brien) asked me specifically about fettering the discretion of prospective lottery operators by telling them how to design the lottery. We do not believe that instant games of the national lottery, including scratch cards, will compete directly with small charitable lotteries. We have done much to improve the climate for them.
The hon. Members for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton) and for Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Wareing) have a real problem. The hon. Member for Bassetlaw said that the Government would not publish the GAH report because it showed that the lottery was a con for the operator. However, his hon. Friend said that Coopers and Lybrand had said that 5,000 jobs would be lost whereas GAH claims—it is alleged—that there would be 1,100 job losses but that that report is not available to him. On the basis of the case of 1,100 losses, it would clearly be in the Government's interests to publish the report versus the Coopers and Lybrand forecast, but the hon. Member for Bassetlaw said that we dare not. They cannot both be right. Nor can the hon. Gentleman say that the scheme will be a financial flop so we should not let it get off the ground and, at the same time, say that it will be such a huge success that the whole pools industry will be put at risk.
Someone who seems to understand the national lottery is the Labour party's Front Bench spokesman on the citizens charter and women, the hon. Member for Vauxhall (Ms. Hoey). Almost exactly a year ago, she told the House:
Last night at a Labour party ward meeting I spent £2 on a raffle ticket. I did not win—I never do. I do not believe that buying a … raffle ticket is gambling. Nor do I believe that the average member of the British public believes that it is.… It is patronising to the poor to imply that they do not have the free will to make a choice about whether to buy a lottery ticket."—[Official Report, 17 January 1992; Vol. 201, c. 1261–2.]There is not a single hon. Member whose constituents will not benefit from the measure. If right hon. and hon. Members vote against the Bill tonight, will they promise to forgo all future benefits to their constituents? I urge all right hon. and hon. Members to vote to give the Bill a Second Reading. That will prove to our constituents that we listen to what they say, that we can look to the broader horizon and that we are not prepared to sacrifice the creation of a new industry with far-reaching beneficial consequences on the altar of narrow self-interest.
§ Question put, That the amendment be made:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 269, Noes 310.811
|Division No. 122]||[10 pm|
|Abbott, Ms Diane||Eastham, Ken|
|Adams, Mrs Irene||Enright, Derek|
|Ainger, Nick||Etherington, Bill|
|Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)||Evans, John (St Helens N)|
|Allen, Graham||Fatchett, Derek|
|Alton, David||Faulds, Andrew|
|Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)||Field, Frank (Birkenhead)|
|Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros"dale)||Fisher, Mark|
|Armstrong, Hilary||Flynn, Paul|
|Ashton, Joe||Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S)|
|Austin-Walker, John||Foster, Derek (B'p Auckland)|
|Banks, Tony (Newham NW)||Foster, Don (Bath)|
|Barnes, Harry||Foulkes, George|
|Battle, John||Fraser, John|
|Bayley, Hugh||Fyfe, Maria|
|Beckett, Margaret||Galbraith, Sam|
|Beith, Rt Hon A. J.||Galloway, George|
|Bell, Stuart||Gapes, Mike|
|Benn, Rt Hon Tony||George, Bruce|
|Bennett, Andrew F.||Gerrard, Neil|
|Benton, Joe||Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John|
|Bermingham, Gerald||Godman, Dr Norman A.|
|Berry, Dr. Roger||Godsiff, Roger|
|Betts, Clive||Golding, Mrs Llin|
|Blair, Tony||Gordon, Mildred|
|Blunkett, David||Graham, Thomas|
|Boateng, Paul||Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)|
|Boyce, Jimmy||Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)|
|Boyes, Roland||Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)|
|Bradley, Keith||Grocott, Bruce|
|Brown, Gordon (Dunfermline E)||Gunnell, John|
|Brown, N. (N'c'tle upon Tyne E)||Hain, Peter|
|Burden, Richard||Hall, Mike|
|Byers, Stephen||Hanson, David|
|Caborn, Richard||Hardy, Peter|
|Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)||Harman, Ms Harriet|
|Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)||Henderson, Doug|
|Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)||Heppell, John|
|Campbell-Savours, D. N.||Hill, Keith (Streatham)|
|Canavan, Dennis||Hinchliffe, David|
|Cann, Jamie||Hoey, Kate|
|Chisholm, Malcolm||Home Robertson, John|
|Clapham, Michael||Hood, Jimmy|
|Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)||Hoon, Geoffrey|
|Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)||Howarth, George (Knowsley N)|
|Clelland, David||Hoyle, Doug|
|Clwyd, Mrs Ann||Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)|
|Coffey, Ann||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)|
|Cohen, Harry||Hughes, Roy (Newport E)|
|Connarty, Michael||Hughes, Simon (Southwark)|
|Cook, Robin (Livingston)||Hutton, John|
|Corbett, Robin||Illsley, Eric|
|Corbyn, Jeremy||Ingram, Adam|
|Corston, Ms Jean||Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)|
|Cousins, Jim||Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)|
|Cox, Tom||Jamieson, David|
|Cryer, Bob||Janner, Greville|
|Cummings, John||Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side)|
|Cunliffe, Lawrence||Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)|
|Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)||Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)|
|Dafis, Cynog||Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald|
|Darling, Alistair||Keen, Alan|
|Davidson, Ian||Kennedy, Charles (Ross,C&S)|
|Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral)||Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn)|
|Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)||Khabra, Piara S.|
|Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)||Kilfedder, Sir James|
|Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'l)||Kilfoyle, Peter|
|Denham, John||Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil (Islwyn)|
|Dewar, Donald||Kirkwood, Archy|
|Dixon, Don||Leighton, Ron|
|Dobson, Frank||Lestor, Joan (Eccles)|
|Donohoe, Brian H.||Lewis, Terry|
|Dowd, Jim||Litherland, Robert|
|Dunnachie, Jimmy||Livingstone, Ken|
|Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth||Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)|
|Eagle, Ms Angela||Loyden, Eddie|
|Lynne, Ms Liz||Radice, Giles|
|McAllion, John||Randall, Stuart|
|McAvoy, Thomas||Raynsford, Nick|
|McCartney, Ian||Redmond, Martin|
|Macdonald, Calum||Reid, Dr John|
|McFall, John||Robertson, George (Hamilton)|
|McKelvey, William||Robinson, Geoffrey (Co'try NW)|
|Mackinlay, Andrew||Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)|
|McLeish, Henry||Roche, Mrs. Barbara|
|Maclennan, Robert||Rogers, Allan|
|McMaster, Gordon||Rooker, Jeff|
|McNamara, Kevin||Rooney, Terry|
|Madden, Max||Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)|
|Mahon, Alice||Ross, William (E Londonderry)|
|Mandelson, Peter||Rowlands, Ted|
|Marek, Dr John||Ruddock, Joan|
|Marshall, David (Shettleston)||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S)||Sheerman, Barry|
|Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)||Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert|
|Martlew, Eric||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|Maxton, John||Short, Clare|
|Meacher, Michael||Simpson, Alan|
|Meale, Alan||Skinner, Dennis|
|Michael, Alun||Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)|
|Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)||Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)|
|Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute)||Smith, Rt Hon John (M'kl'ds E)|
|Milburn, Alan||Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)|
|Miller, Andrew||Soley, Clive|
|Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)||Spearing, Nigel|
|Molyneaux, Rt Hon James||Spellar, John|
|Moonie, Dr Lewis||Steinberg, Gerry|
|Morgan, Rhodri||Stevenson, George|
|Morley, Elliot||Stott, Roger|
|Morris, Rt Hon A. (Wy'nshawe)||Strang, Dr. Gavin|
|Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley)||Straw, Jack|
|Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)|
|Mowlam, Marjorie||Taylor, Rt Hon John D. (Strgfd)|
|Mudie, George||Taylor, Matthew (Truro)|
|Mullin, Chris||Tipping, Paddy|
|Murphy, Paul||Trimble, David|
|Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon||Turner, Dennis|
|O'Brien, Michael (N W'kshire)||Vaz, Keith|
|O'Brien, William (Normanton)||Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold|
|O'Hara, Edward||Walley, Joan|
|Olner, William||Wardell, Gareth (Gower)|
|O'Neill, Martin||Wareing, Robert N|
|Orme, Rt Hon Stanley||Wicks, Malcolm|
|Paisley, Rev Ian||Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)|
|Parry, Robert||Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)|
|Pendry, Tom||Wilson, Brian|
|Pickthall, Colin||Winnick, David|
|Pike, Peter L.||Wise, Audrey|
|Pope, Greg||Worthington, Tony|
|Powell, Ray (Ogmore)||Wright, Dr Tony|
|Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E)||Young, David (Bolton SE)|
|Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)|
|Prescott, John||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Primarolo, Dawn||Mr. Jon Owen Jones and|
|Purchase, Ken||Mr. Jack Thompson.|
|Quin, Ms Joyce|
|Adley, Robert||Baldry, Tony|
|Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)||Banks, Matthew (Southport)|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Banks, Robert (Harrogate)|
|Alexander, Richard||Bates, Michael|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby)||Batiste, Spencer|
|Allason, Rupert (Torbay)||Bellingham, Henry|
|Amess, David||Bendall, Vivian|
|Ancram, Michael||Beresford, Sir Paul|
|Arbuthnot, James||Biffen, Rt Hon John|
|Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)||Blackburn, Dr John G.|
|Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv)||Body, Sir Richard|
|Ashby, David||Bonsor, Sir Nicholas|
|Aspinwall, Jack||Booth, Hartley|
|Atkins, Robert||Boswell, Tim|
|Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E)||Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)|
|Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)||Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia|
|Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)||Bowden, Andrew|
|Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North)||Bowis, John|
|Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes||Gillan, Cheryl|
|Brandreth, Gyles||Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair|
|Brazier, Julian||Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles|
|Brooke, Rt Hon Peter||Gorman, Mrs Teresa|
|Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)||Gorst, John|
|Browning, Mrs. Angela||Grant, Sir Anthony (Cambs SW)|
|Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)||Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)|
|Budgen, Nicholas||Greenway, John (Ryedale)|
|Burns, Simon||Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)|
|Burt, Alistair||Grylls, Sir Michael|
|Butcher, John||Hague, William|
|Butler, Peter||Hamilton, Rt Hon Archie (Epsom)|
|Butterfill, John||Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)|
|Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry)||Hampson, Dr Keith|
|Carlisle, John (Luton North)||Hanley, Jeremy|
|Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)||Hannam, Sir John|
|Carrington, Matthew||Hargreaves, Andrew|
|Carttiss, Michael||Harris, David|
|Cash, William||Hawkins, Nick|
|Channon, Rt Hon Paul||Hawksley, Warren|
|Chaplin, Mrs Judith||Hayes, Jerry|
|Churchill, Mr||Heald, Oliver|
|Clappison, James||Heath, Rt Hon Sir Edward|
|Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)||Heathcoat-Amory, David|
|Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif)||Hendry, Charles|
|Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey||Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael|
|Coe, Sebastian||Hicks, Robert|
|Colvin, Michael||Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L.|
|Congdon, David||Hill, James (Southampton Test)|
|Conway, Derek||Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)|
|Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)||Horam, John|
|Coombs, Simon (Swindon)||Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter|
|Cope, Rt Hon Sir John||Howard, Rt Hon Michael|
|Couchman, James||Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)|
|Cran, James||Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)|
|Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)||Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)|
|Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)||Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)|
|Davies, Quentin (Stamford)||Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)|
|Davis, David (Boothferry)||Hunter, Andrew|
|Day, Stephen||Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas|
|Deva, Nirj Joseph||Jack, Michael|
|Devlin, Tim||Jackson, Robert (Wantage)|
|Dickens, Geoffrey||Jenkin, Bernard|
|Dorrell, Stephen||Jessel, Toby|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)|
|Dover, Den||Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)|
|Duncan, Alan||Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine|
|Duncan-Smith, Iain||Key, Robert|
|Dunn, Bob||King, Rt Hon Tom|
|Durant, Sir Anthony||Knapman, Roger|
|Dykes, Hugh||Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)|
|Eggar, Tim||Knight, Greg (Derby N)|
|Elletson, Harold||Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)|
|Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter||Knox, David|
|Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)||Kynoch, George (Kincardine)|
|Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)||Lait, Mrs Jacqui|
|Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)||Lamont, Rt Hon Norman|
|Evans, Roger (Monmouth)||Lawrence, Sir Ivan|
|Evennett, David||Legg, Barry|
|Faber, David||Leigh, Edward|
|Fabricant, Michael||Lennox-Boyd, Mark|
|Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas||Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)|
|Fenner, Dame Peggy||Lidington, David|
|Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)||Lightbown, David|
|Fishburn, Dudley||Lilley, Rt Hon Peter|
|Forman, Nigel||Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)|
|Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)||Lord, Michael|
|Forth, Eric||Luff, Peter|
|Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman||MacGregor, Rt Hon John|
|Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)||MacKay, Andrew|
|Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)||Maclean, David|
|Freeman, Roger||McLoughlin, Patrick|
|French, Douglas||McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick|
|Fry, Peter||Madel, David|
|Gale, Roger||Maitland, Lady Olga|
|Gallie, Phil||Malone, Gerald|
|Gardiner, Sir George||Mans, Keith|
|Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan||Marlow, Tony|
|Garnier, Edward||Marshall, John (Hendon S)|
|Gill, Christopher||Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)|
|Martin, David (Portsmouth S)||Speed, Sir Keith|
|Mates, Michael||Spencer, Sir Derek|
|Mawhinney, Dr Brian||Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)|
|Mellor, Rt Hon David||Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)|
|Merchant, Piers||Spink, Dr Robert|
|Milligan, Stephen||Spring, Richard|
|Mills, Iain||Sproat, Iain|
|Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)||Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)|
|Mitchell, Sir David (Hants NW)||Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John|
|Moate, Sir Roger||Steen, Anthony|
|Monro, Sir Hector||Stephen, Michael|
|Montgomery, Sir Fergus||Stern, Michael|
|Moss, Malcolm||Streeter, Gary|
|Needham, Richard||Sumberg, David|
|Nelson, Anthony||Sweeney, Walter|
|Neubert, Sir Michael||Sykes, John|
|Newton, Rt Hon Tony||Tapsell, Sir Peter|
|Nicholls, Patrick||Taylor, Ian (Esher)|
|Nicholson, David (Taunton)||Taylor, John M. (Solihull)|
|Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)||Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)|
|Norris, Steve||Temple-Morris, Peter|
|Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley||Thomason, Roy|
|Oppenheim, Phillip||Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)|
|Ottaway, Richard||Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)|
|Page, Richard||Thurnham, Peter|
|Paice, James||Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)|
|Patnick, Irvine||Tracey, Richard|
|Patten, Rt Hon John||Tredinnick, David|
|Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Trend, Michael|
|Pawsey, James||Trotter, Neville|
|Pickles, Eric||Vaughan, Sir Gerard|
|Porter, Barry (Wirral S)||Viggers, Peter|
|Porter, David (Waveney)||Waldegrave, Rt Hon William|
|Portillo, Rt Hon Michael||Walden, George|
|Powell, William (Corby)||Walker, Bill (N Tayside)|
|Rathbone, Tim||Waller, Gary|
|Redwood, John||Ward, John|
|Renton, Rt Hon Tim||Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)|
|Richards, Rod||Waterson, Nigel|
|Riddick, Graham||Watts, John|
|Robathan, Andrew||Wells, Bowen|
|Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn||Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John|
|Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)||Whitney, Ray|
|Robinson, Mark (Somerton)||Whittingdale, John|
|Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)||Widdecombe, Ann|
|Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)||Wiggin, Sir Jerry|
|Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela||Wilkinson, John|
|Ryder, Rt Hon Richard||Willetts, David|
|Sackville, Tom||Wilshire, David|
|Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim||Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)|
|Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas||Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)|
|Shaw, David (Dover)||Wolfson, Mark|
|Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)||Wood, Timothy|
|Shersby, Michael||Yeo, Tim|
|Sims, Roger||Young, Sir George (Acton)|
|Skeet, Sir Trevor|
|Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)||Mr. Timothy Kirkhope and|
|Soames, Nicholas||Mr. Sydney Chapman.|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
§ Main Question put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 60 (Amendment on Second or Third Reading):—
§ The House divided: Ayes 339, Noes 203.815
|Division No. 123]||[10.15 pm|
|Adley, Robert||Ashby, David|
|Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)||Aspinwall, Jack|
|Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)||Atkins, Robert|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Atkinson, David (Bour'mouth E)|
|Alexander, Richard||Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby)||Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)|
|Allason, Rupert (Torbay)||Baker, Nicholas (Dorset North)|
|Amess, David||Baldry, Tony|
|Ancram, Michael||Banks, Matthew (Southport)|
|Arbuthnot, James||Banks, Robert (Harrogate)|
|Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)||Bates, Michael|
|Arnold, Sir Thomas (Hazel Grv)||Batiste, Spencer|
|Bellingham, Henry||Fenner, Dame Peggy|
|Bendall, Vivian||Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)|
|Beresford, Sir Paul||Fishburn, Dudley|
|Biffen, Rt Hon John||Fisher, Mark|
|Blackburn, Dr John G.||Forman, Nigel|
|Body, Sir Richard||Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)|
|Bonsor, Sir Nicholas||Forth, Eric|
|Booth, Hartley||Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman|
|Boswell, Tim||Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)|
|Bottomley, Peter (Eltham)||Fox, Sir Marcus (Shipley)|
|Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia||Freeman, Roger|
|Bowden, Andrew||French, Douglas|
|Bowis, John||Fry, Peter|
|Boyes, Roland||Gale, Roger|
|Boyson, Rt Hon Sir Rhodes||Gallie, Phil|
|Brandreth, Gyles||Gardiner, Sir George|
|Brazier, Julian||Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan|
|Brooke, Rt Hon Peter||Garnier, Edward|
|Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)||Gill, Christopher|
|Browning, Mrs. Angela||Gillan, Cheryl|
|Bruce, Ian (S Dorset)||Godsiff, Roger|
|Budgen, Nicholas||Golding, Mrs Llin|
|Burns, Simon||Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair|
|Burt, Alistair||Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles|
|Butcher, John||Gorman, Mrs Teresa|
|Butler, Peter||Grant, Sir Anthony (Cambs SW)|
|Butterfill, John||Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)|
|Canavan, Dennis||Greenway, John (Ryedale)|
|Carlile, Alexander (Montgomry)||Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)|
|Carlisle, John (Luton North)||Grylls, Sir Michael|
|Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)||Gunnell, John|
|Carrington, Matthew||Hague, William|
|Carttiss, Michael||Hamilton, Rt Hon Archie (Epsom)|
|Cash, William||Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)|
|Channon, Rt Hon Paul||Hampson, Dr Keith|
|Chaplin, Mrs Judith||Hanley, Jeremy|
|Churchill, Mr||Hannam, Sir John|
|Clappison, James||Hargreaves, Andrew|
|Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)||Harris, David|
|Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ruclif)||Hawkins, Nick|
|Clelland, David||Hawksley, Warren|
|Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey||Hayes, Jerry|
|Coe, Sebastian||Heald, Oliver|
|Colvin, Michael||Heath, Rt Hon Sir Edward|
|Congdon, David||Heathcoat-Amory, David|
|Connarty, Michael||Hendry, Charles|
|Conway, Derek||Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael|
|Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)||Hicks, Robert|
|Coombs, Simon (Swindon)||Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence L.|
|Cope, Rt Hon Sir John||Hill, James (Southampton Test)|
|Couchman, James||Hoey, Kate|
|Cran, James||Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)|
|Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)||Home Robertson, John|
|Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)||Horam, John|
|Davies, Bryan (Oldham C'tral)||Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter|
|Davies, Quentin (Stamford)||Howard, Rt Hon Michael|
|Davis, David (Boothferry)||Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)|
|Day, Stephen||Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)|
|Deva, Nirj Joseph||Hughes Robert G. (Harrow W)|
|Devlin, Tim||Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)|
|Dickens, Geoffrey||Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)|
|Dorrell, Stephen||Hunter, Andrew|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||Hurd, Rt Hon Douglas|
|Dover, Den||Jack, Michael|
|Duncan, Alan||Jackson, Robert (Wantage)|
|Duncan-Smith, Iain||Jenkin, Bernard|
|Dunn, Bob||Jessel, Toby|
|Durant, Sir Anthony||Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)|
|Dykes, Hugh||Jones, Robert B. (W Hertfdshr)|
|Eggar, Tim||Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine|
|Elletson, Harold||Key, Robert|
|Emery, Rt Hon Sir Peter||King, Rt Hon Tom|
|Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)||Knapman, Roger|
|Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)||Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)|
|Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)||Knight, Greg (Derby N)|
|Evans, Roger (Monmouth)||Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)|
|Evennett, David||Knox, David|
|Faber, David||Kynoch, George (Kincardine)|
|Fabricant, Michael||Lait, Mrs Jacqui|
|Fairbairn, Sir Nicholas||Lamont, Rt Hon Norman|
|Lawrence, Sir Ivan||Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)|
|Legg, Barry||Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela|
|Leigh, Edward||Ryder, Rt Hon Richard|
|Lennox-Boyd, Mark||Sackville, Tom|
|Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)||Sainsbury, Rt Hon Tim|
|Lidington, David||Scott, Rt Hon Nicholas|
|Lightbown, David||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Lilley, Rt Hon Peter||Shaw, David (Dover)|
|Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)||Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)|
|Lord, Michael||Sheerman, Barry|
|Luff, Peter||Shersby, Michael|
|McFall, John||Sims, Roger|
|MacGregor, Rt Hon John||Skeet, Sir Trevor|
|MacKay, Andrew||Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)|
|Maclean, David||Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)|
|McLoughlin, Patrick||Soames, Nicholas|
|McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick||Speed, Sir Keith|
|Madel, David||Spencer, Sir Derek|
|Maitland, Lady Olga||Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)|
|Malone, Gerald||Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)|
|Mandelson, Peter||Spink, Dr Robert|
|Mans, Keith||Spring, Richard|
|Marlow, Tony||Sproat, Iain|
|Marshall, John (Hendon S)||Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)|
|Marshall, Sir Michael (Arundel)||Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John|
|Martin, David (Portsmouth S)||Steen, Anthony|
|Mates, Michael||Steinberg, Gerry|
|Mawhinney, Dr Brian||Stephen, Michael|
|Maxton, John||Stern, Michael|
|Mellor, Rt Hon David||Stott, Roger|
|Merchant, Piers||Streeter, Gary|
|Milligan, Stephen||Sumberg, David|
|Mills, Iain||Sweeney, Walter|
|Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)||Sykes, John|
|Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)||Tapsell, Sir Peter|
|Mitchell, Sir David (Hants NW)||Taylor, Ian (Esher)|
|Moate, Sir Roger||Taylor, John M. (Solihull)|
|Monro, Sir Hector||Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)|
|Montgomery, Sir Fergus||Temple-Morris, Peter|
|Moonie, Dr Lewis||Thomason, Roy|
|Morley, Elliot||Thompson, Sir Donald (C'er V)|
|Moss, Malcolm||Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)|
|Mowlam, Marjorie||Thornton, Sir Malcolm|
|Mudie, George||Thurnham, Peter|
|Needham, Richard||Tipping, Paddy|
|Nelson, Anthony||Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexl'yh'th)|
|Neubert, Sir Michael||Tracey, Richard|
|Newton, Rt Hon Tony||Tredinnick, David|
|Nicholls, Patrick||Trend, Michael|
|Nicholson, David (Taunton)||Trotter, Neville|
|Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)||Vaughan, Sir Gerard|
|Norris, Steve||Waldegrave, Rt Hon William|
|Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley||Walden, George|
|Oppenheim, Phillip||Walker, Bill (N Tayside)|
|Ottaway, Richard||Waller, Gary|
|Page, Richard||Ward, John|
|Paice, James||Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)|
|Patnick, Irvine||Waterson, Nigel|
|Patten, Rt Hon John||Watts, John|
|Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Wells, Bowen|
|Pawsey, James||Wheeler, Rt Hon Sir John|
|Pickles, Eric||Whitney, Ray|
|Porter, David (Waveney)||Whittingdale, John|
|Portillo, Rt Hon Michael||Widdecombe, Ann|
|Powell, William (Corby)||Wiggin, Sir Jerry|
|Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)||Wilkinson, John|
|Radice, Giles||Willetts, David|
|Rathbone, Tim||Wilshire, David|
|Raynsford, Nick||Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)|
|Redwood, John||Wolfson, Mark|
|Renton, Rt Hon Tim||Wood, Timothy|
|Richards, Rod||Worthington, Tony|
|Riddick, Graham||Wright, Dr Tony|
|Robathan, Andrew||Yeo, Tim|
|Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn||Young, Sir George (Acton)|
|Robertson, Raymond (Ab'd'n S)|
|Robinson, Mark (Somerton)||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)||Mr. Sydney Chapman and|
|Rooker, Jeff||Mr. Timothy Kirkhope.|
|Adams, Mrs Irene||Hardy, Peter|
|Ainger, Nick||Henderson, Doug|
|Allen, Graham||Heppell, John|
|Alton, David||Hill, Keith (Streatham)|
|Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)||Hinchliffe, David|
|Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale)||Hood, Jimmy|
|Armstrong, Hilary||Howarth, George (Knowsley N)|
|Ashton, Joe||Hoyle, Doug|
|Austin-Walker, John||Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)|
|Banks, Tony (Newham NW)||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)|
|Bayley, Hugh||Hughes, Roy (Newport E)|
|Beith, Rt Hon A. J.||Hughes, Simon (Southwark)|
|Bell, Stuart||Hutton, John|
|Benn, Rt Hon Tony||Illsley, Eric|
|Bennett, Andrew F.||Ingram, Adam|
|Benton, Joe||Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)|
|Berry, Dr. Roger||Jamieson, David|
|Blunkett, David||Janner, Greville|
|Boyce, Jimmy||Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side)|
|Bradley, Keith||Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)|
|Brown, N. (N'c'tle upon Tyne E)||Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)|
|Byers, Stephen||Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)|
|Caborn, Richard||Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)|
|Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)||Keen, Alan|
|Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)||Kennedy, Charles (Ross,C&S)|
|Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)||Kennedy, Jane (Lpool Brdgn)|
|Cann, Jamie||Khabra, Piara S.|
|Chisholm, Malcolm||Kilfedder, Sir James|
|Clapham, Michael||Kilfoyle, Peter|
|Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)||Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil (Islwyn)|
|Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)||Kirkwood, Archy|
|Coffey, Ann||Leighton, Ron|
|Cohen, Harry||Lestor, Joan (Eccles)|
|Corbyn, Jeremy||Lewis, Terry|
|Corston, Ms Jean||Litherland, Robert|
|Cousins, Jim||Livingstone, Ken|
|Cox, Tom||Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)|
|Cryer, Bob||Loyden, Eddie|
|Cummings, John||Lynne, Ms Liz|
|Cunliffe, Lawrence||McAllion, John|
|Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)||McAvoy, Thomas|
|Dafis, Cynog||McCartney, Ian|
|Dalyell, Tam||Macdonald, Calum|
|Davidson, Ian||McKelvey, William|
|Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)||Mackinlay, Andrew|
|Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)||Maclennan, Robert|
|Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'dge H'l)||McMaster, Gordon|
|Dewar, Donald||McNamara, Kevin|
|Dixon, Don||Madden, Max|
|Dobson, Frank||Mahon, Alice|
|Donohoe, Brian H.||Marek, Dr John|
|Dowd, Jim||Marshall, David (Shettleston)|
|Dunnachie, Jimmy||Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S)|
|Eagle, Ms Angela||Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)|
|Eastham, Ken||Martlew, Eric|
|Enright, Derek||Meacher, Michael|
|Etherington, Bill||Meale, Alan|
|Evans, John (St Helens N)||Michael, Alun|
|Faulds, Andrew||Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)|
|Field, Frank (Birkenhead)||Michie, Mrs Ray (Argyll Bute)|
|Flynn, Paul||Milburn, Alan|
|Forsythe, Clifford (Antrim S)||Miller, Andrew|
|Foster, Derek (B'p Auckland)||Molyneaux, Rt Hon James|
|Foster, Don (Bath)||Morgan, Rhodri|
|Foulkes, George||Morris, Rt Hon A. (Wy'nshawe)|
|Galbraith, Sam||Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley)|
|Galloway, George||Mullin, Chris|
|Gapes, Mike||Murphy, Paul|
|George, Bruce||Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon|
|Gerrard, Neil||O'Brien, Michael (N W'kshire)|
|Godman, Dr Norman A.||O'Brien, William (Normanton)|
|Gordon, Mildred||O'Hara, Edward|
|Graham, Thomas||Olner, William|
|Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)||O'Neill, Martin|
|Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)||Orme, Rt Hon Stanley|
|Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)||Paisley, Rev Ian|
|Grocott, Bruce||Parry, Robert|
|Hall, Mike||Pickthall, Colin|
|Hanson, David||Pike, Peter L.|
|Pope, Greg||Strang, Dr. Gavin|
|Powell, Ray (Ogmore)||Straw, Jack|
|Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lew'm E)||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)|
|Prescott, John||Taylor, Rt Hon John D. (Strgfd)|
|Primarolo, Dawn||Taylor, Matthew (Truro)|
|Purchase, Ken||Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)|
|Quin, Ms Joyce||Trimble, David|
|Randall, Stuart||Turner, Dennis|
|Redmond, Martin||Vaz, Keith|
|Reid, Dr John||Walker, Rt Hon Sir Harold|
|Robertson, George (Hamilton)||Walley, Joan|
|Robinson, Geoffrey (Co'try NW)||Wardell, Gareth (Gower)|
|Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)||Wareing, Robert N|
|Rooney, Terry||Wicks, Malcolm|
|Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)||Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Sw'n W)|
|Ross, William (E Londonderry)||Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)|
|Rowlands, Ted||Wilson, Brian|
|Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert||Winnick, David|
|Short, Clare||Wise, Audrey|
|Simpson, Alan||Young, David (Bolton SE)|
|Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)||Mr. Gerald Birmingham and|
|Spearing, Nigel||Mr. Harry Barnes.|
§ Question accordingly agreed to.
§ Bill read a Second time, and committed to a Standing Committee pursuant to Standing Order No. 61 (Committal of Bills).