Sunday, November 9, 2014

MPs in Bradford Call for an End to "Rip-off" Allocations of National Lottery Funds

Members of Parliament from Bradford, England, have demanded an end to the UK National Lottery "rip-off" tactics that short change the funding made available for arts projects in Bradford and other areas of the UK and funnel huge amounts of cash to London-based projects.

Speaking on Wednesday, MPS urged the British Government to change the rules and ensure the rest of the UK got a fair share of the funds generated by the National Lottery.

A study examined by the Commons culture select committee revealed 20% (£34.6 million) of the money generated by ticket sales in Bradford was allocated for the arts, but only £18.7 million was reinvested in arts projects in the Bradford area.

The case is very different in London however. Four boroughs have surpluses that top £100 million. Westminster alone boasts a surplus of £393.7 million.

Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe, who assisted with the inquiry, said it was time to end the "rip off".

Bradford East Liberal Democrat MP David Ward said he would be contacting the lottery and asking for a justification of funding decisions that cause people in the north to feel like they have lost out.

Shipley MP Philip Davies was equally unhappy.

"For the long-term viability of the lottery it clearly needs to be more closely matched otherwise it will lose its legitimacy," Davies said.