Tories pledge to protect sector lottery funding

The Conservative Party has announced proposals it says would protect National Lottery good causes money from government raids and raise an additional £182m for the voluntary sector and grass-roots sports and arts projects.

The National Lottery Independence Bill – launched by Conservative Party leader David Cameron and shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt – pledges to reform the National Lottery by “restoring its independence from the Government and politicians”, as well as maximising returns for the “original good causes of sport, the arts, heritage and the voluntary and community sectors”.

Additional funding totalling £182m would be raised by introducing a gross profits tax regime for the National Lottery.

“By funding grass-roots initiatives that have nothing to do with politicians, the National Lottery puts power into the hands of communities and allows them to transform their quality of life,” said Cameron.

“Our bill will end political interference, stop ministers grabbing lottery cash and potentially generate an extra £182m for the good causes of the arts, sport, heritage and charities.”

Greg Clark, shadow charities minister, said the bill would “protect the lottery good causes from further government raids and boost the amount of lottery money that goes to charities and other voluntary organisations”.

He added: “The bill would protect the share of Big Lottery Fund money that goes to voluntary and community groups. The voluntary sector component will be named the Voluntary Action Fund to reflect the emphasis of its activities. It will have a guarantee of at least the current level of funding that goes from the BLF to voluntary sector organisations.”

Clark said the bill “would redistribute the money that the BLF channels to Government projects between all the good causes, including the voluntary sector”.

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