A long time ago I opined that giving National Lottery players a say on where the grants go might turn out to be a clever way of ripping them off. The point being that people might want it spent on stuff that would otherwise be funded by taxation; the minister mentioned cancer scanners.
Since I wrote that, the Lottery Commissioner’s published research that shows those on the lowest incomes are most likely to play the lottery. If they were to volunteer to relieve taxpayers of the burden of funding cancer scanners, say, the real beneficiaries would be the well off. Better to pay for such things through a fair and equitable system of taxation.
Anyway. Now’s your chance to have a say on how the money should be spent, within tightly defined boundaries. You won’t be able to say much about the lottery as tax issue. The consultation paper explains that half the money’s going to health, education, the environment and charities (could be anything) and the question that touches on the issue is very confused:
‘We believe that Lottery money should not be allowed to become a substitute for funding that would normally fall to mainstream Government spending. However, the Lottery can still support things with recognised strong public support and Lottery grants can enhance mainstream public services. Do you agree?’
My point is made before the ‘however,’ but I strongly disagree with what comes after that and if I tick that box they might think I support the idea of lottery money substituting government spending. I’ve some experience of writing consultation papers like this. It’s an easy thing to put right. You simply offer a selection of opposing statements. Done this way, I’m forced to accept the compromise. Lots of the questions are like this. Crafty.