NCVO calls on the Chancellor to relinquish Lottery sales excise

NCVO is calling on the government to forgo its 12 per cent tax on National Lottery tickets so the money can be split between prizes and good causes.

In its submission to the latest discussion document on reform of the Lottery, NCVO argues that the Government's reasons for imposing the 12 per cent tax when the Lottery was established in 1994, have not been borne out.

At the time, the Government contended it would need the tax in order to recoup losses it would incur as people switched from other forms of gambling to buying Lottery tickets. But NCVO says these losses have not materialised as gambling has grown overall.

The tax is currently worth £549m per year, so good causes would benefit to the tune of almost £275m. NCVO said it hoped Camelot would back the call, because a bigger pot of prize money would help to sell more tickets.

But Camelot was non-committal, only saying "We welcome any contribution to the debate on reform of the lottery."

NCVO fears the new lottery distributor to be created from the merger of the Community Fund and the New Opportunities Fund, will have to cut the money it gives to good causes to fund the marketing of lottery-funded projects and the mooted National Lottery Day.

NCVO has also criticised the consultation process, saying the paper appears to breach the Compact by not making clear which decisions have already been made.

See Compact Week Special, p5.

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