Focus: Policy and Politics - Question Time - Viscount Astor, Conservative National Lottery spokesman

Why have you tabled an amendment to abolish the Big Lottery Fund?

One of the debates we want to have in the House of Lords is about what the Government's rationale is for the Big Lottery Fund.

If the Bill was passed, the Government could be very prescriptive about what the Big Lottery Fund can do and how it can do it. We think experience has shown that it is constantly breaking the principles of additionality.

How can you resolve the additionality issue?

There are various alternatives. One is to put something in the Bill attempting to define additionality. The second is to make the Secretary of State produce guidance on additionality.

Another alternative is to change the prescriptive nature of the relationship between the Government and the BLF. The fourth option is to ask if this really is a good idea and would it not be better to go back to the original four causes and the lottery as it was?

Will a vote on additionality be more successful in the Lords?

Yes. I think there's a very good chance of us winning on additionality if that's what it comes down to. I think we will because we have Conservative, Liberal and crossbench support.

What other amendments have you tabled?

Some of my other amendments are designed to probe the Government. I've put one down saying lottery distributors should not give to political entities. I've also put one down about giving to foreign projects.

Why the latter?

Do you remember when the lottery distributor suddenly started giving money to Peruvian guinea pig farmers? It didn't just bring the lottery into disrepute - it made it a subject of ridicule. I'm not sure that in the long term this should be on the face of the Bill, but I want to know what the Government's views are.

Would you rather lottery money be spent on UK projects alone?

Yes - most of it certainly should be.

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