Tories would return Lottery to 'original purposes'

A future Conservative government would return the Lottery to its four original purposes, the party has promised.

Tory spokeswoman on civil society Jacqui Lait told Third Sector that the Conservatives "would not use the Lottery to replace government spending" and that there would be more money for charities as a result.

She said that if the party won the next election, which is expected to take place on 5 May, the Lottery would revert to its original purposes of supporting charities, the arts, heritage and sport.

"Funding would again go into the charitable and voluntary sector rather than being hijacked by the Government for its own ends," she said.

Lait said that legislation might be needed to make the changes, although she pointed out that the Big Lottery Fund, widely seen as enabling more Government control over Lottery funds, did not yet legally exist.

Lait said the Conservatives' approach to the voluntary sector differed from Labour's in that the party did not believe the sector "should be an arm of government policy".

Her comments on the Lottery provoked a cool response from Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, who suggested it might not mean more money.

"It's difficult to say whether the Conservative proposal would mean less or more," he said. "The devil is in the detail. Potentially there is a danger that it could mean less money. It is not necessarily a good thing."

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