Tories question additionality
The Conservatives have claimed that the Big Lottery Fund gave out £339,000 in grants last year that breached the 'additionality' principle, which says that it should only fund activities that are additional to core public sector responsibilities.
The report's author, shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, said: "The National Lottery was established to fund good causes that often appear low down in a government's list of spending priorities. Unfortunately Labour has diverted around £3bn of lottery funding away from these causes to areas of government spending."
However, the Big Lottery Fund denied that awarding money to statutory bodies constituted a breach of the additionality rule. "Additionality is not defined by the sector that receives the funding," a spokeswoman said. "Public sector as well as third sector can deliver projects that are additional.
"We do not fund core government responsibilities, but specific, time limited activities that add value by complementing but being additional to government activities."
Liberal Democrat spokesman Don Foster said the government had "repeatedly raided funds for lottery good causes to pay for their pet projects". But he accused the Conservatives of hypocrisy by making at least seven funding commitments themselves that were dependent on lottery money.
"If the Tories really have decided to support lottery independence then it's welcome news but it's really hard to believe it when they keep promising lottery funds for their own policies," he said.