Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation

Tax on Lottery tickets should meet cost of Olympics

The Treasury should forgo its 12 per cent tax on the Lottery and redirect this to meet the increased costs of the Olympics, according to NCVO. The call comes following news that a raid on lottery good cause funding to the 2012 Olympic Games could lead to a loss of over £300 million for charities and grassroot community groups across the UK. Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said: "Charities want the 2012 Olympics to be a success. However they must not be unfairly penalised due to the increased cost of the Games. A diversion of Lottery good cause funding would mean that charities could miss out on over £300 million. MPs should be aware that this works out at around £500,000 per parliamentary constituency. It will be the smallest grassroot organisations that will be most affected." "There is an obvious solution to this problem. The first port of call to fund the Olympics should be the 12 per cent tax on Lottery tickets, which raises over £500 million per year. A review of this tax is long overdue and NCVO has been calling on the Government to look at this option for some time. The original rationale was to compensate the Treasury for duty lost from other forms of gambling as people switched to playing the Lottery. This no longer stands." "The case for using this tax to meet the Olympics’ overspend is now overwhelming. The prospect of a further reduction in Lottery funding for charities and voluntary groups will create insecurity, uncertainty and will threaten their work with some of the most disadvantaged and excluded individuals and communities in our society." (NCVO press release)