Time for charity lottery reform

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Politicians have united to make a cross-party call for a £100 million annual sales limit for charity lotteries to be introduced

10th April 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Politicians have joined forces in a cross-party call for Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright to speed up charity law reforms that will deliver millions of pounds in extra funding to good causes.

Near-identical motions tabled in Westminster and Holyrood state their support of the government’s “preferred option” of introducing a £100 million annual sales limit for charity lotteries. This option was proposed by the official regulator the Gambling Commission.

With Brexit dividing Parliament, this issue has united MPs, with support from six Parliamentary parties, the Conservatives, Labour, Scottish National Party, Liberal Democrats, the DUP and Plaid Cymru.

The motions, tabled in Westminster by Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, and in Holyrood by Miles Briggs, MSP for Lothian, explain that a rise in the sales limit would allow charity lotteries to reduce bureaucracy and administration costs in order to provide more funding to charities and good causes.

“Charity lotteries, such as those managed by People’s Postcode Lottery, do great work in raising money for good causes and charities across the country,” said Sir David.

“With the stroke of a pen, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright and Charity Minister Mims Davies have an opportunity to dramatically increase the amount of funding available to the charity sector – I and my colleagues urge them to take it.”

Briggs said: “The proposal to raise the sales limit for charity lotteries would have an immediate and very positive impact on the level of funding available to charities – it would also ensure that the charity lottery model for funding charities is sustainable for the years ahead.

“The government has an opportunity to make a decision that will be of obvious benefit to charities and good causes – it is one they should not miss.”

The parliamentary motion comes further to opinion polling of MPs which found significant backing in Parliament for the changes, with 55% of MPs polled backing the move to a £100 million limit and only 15% against, with the rest undecided. 

Malcolm Fleming, head of public affairs at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “It is great to see such a cross-party show of strength from right across the UK in support of raising the current caps on charity lottery fundraising.

“It is a recognition that these changes will help charity lotteries cut bureaucracy and administration at no cost to the taxpayer.

“The new limits are backed by charities, the Gambling Commission, MPs and the public – we hope they will be implemented as soon as possible.”