HC Deb 18 December 1995 vol 268 cc950-1W
Mr. Dykes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the national lottery's effect on leading United Kingdom charities; and if he will make a statement. [4777]

Mr. Sackville

The Government made a commitment during the passage of the National Lottery Act 1993 that they would monitor the income of charitable organisations before and after the introduction of the national lottery. This will have two main elements.

First, the Home Office will be obtaining information from the family expenditure survey to look at trends in individual giving to charity. Early results should be available in spring 1996.

Secondly, the Home Office has announced a research programme which has been developed in consultation with the voluntary sector. It will look in detail at all the main sources of charitable income, and will monitor changes over the three years before the introduction of the national lottery, the year of its introduction and the following two years. Detailed analysis of earlier years and the first full, post-lottery year will be available in spring 1997.

It is still too early to make a definitive assessment of the effect of the national lottery on charitable income, but two things can be said with confidence. First, the national lottery could make available to the National Lottery Charities Board up to £300 million every year to support the charitable, benevolent and philanthropic sector throughout the United Kingdom—in addition to the hundreds of millions of pounds of awards to charitable organisations in the arts, sport and heritage sectors made by the other lottery distributors. Secondly, if people wish to give to charity, the most effective way is to give directly to their favoured cause.