Tory report slams Big Lottery Fund

The Big Lottery Fund spends 12 per cent of its £630m annual revenue on operating costs, according to a report produced by shadow culture minister Jeremy Hunt.

The report describes how the Big Lottery Fund's £76,933,000 operating costs break down into £38.4m on staffing, £1.8m on travel and expenses for staff and board members and £125,000 on research.

In the introduction, Hunt accuses the lottery distributors of “scandalous waste” and the Government of “cynical accounting”.

“The Government has allowed money destined for charities, arts, sports and heritage to instead be used to expand the armies of Lottery distributors,” the report reads.

A Big Lottery Fund statement said: "The number of staff employed by BIG and BIG's annual admin costs directly reflect the unprecedented demand for BIG's funding and the amount of work required to ensure that public funds are distributed safely and effectively.

"As the NAO report published on Thursday May 22nd shows, our costs of 10.2 % compare favourably with leading charitable trusts and other lottery distributors. Throughout 2007/8 we have been working to reduce our costs. Staff numbers have fallen by 7% over the last year and significant savings on operating costs will be shown in our 2007/8 Annual Reports, which will published in July 2008."

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