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Wednesday, 30 May, 2001, 07:50 GMT 08:50 UK
What should lottery money be spent on?

Labour have unveiled plans to target lottery money to help community programmes in poorer parts of the country.

The "Communities First" programme would earmark 150m of lottery money for projects in 50 poor communities. Culture Secretary Chris Smith said Labour had inherited a system which "favoured the few not the many."

But shadow culture secretary Peter Ainsworth said the lottery should operate at it was intended, "free of government interference and for the benefit of regeneration and other worthwhile projects".

The Liberal Democrats said the fact that Labour plan to use lottery money for such projects show they have failed to invest in them in the first place.

Are politicians trying to use the lottery for political ends or are they right to use it to help poorer people?

Have Your Say

It's rather worrying that the government should start plundering lottery money to fund its political social policies

Mick Deal, Milton Keynes
I think it's rather worrying that the government should start plundering lottery money to fund its political social policies. We pay huge amounts of tax in this country as it is, and if spent properly, I'm sure there is plenty to fund our public services and not have to pinch charity money. Is there to be no legal challenge to this theft should it happen? Lottery money was meant for charitable causes, not for Tony Blair to get his grubby little hands on. I don't play the lottery anymore, as it's become quite corrupt, and I certainly wouldn't appreciate the government using the fund for its own political end.
Mick Deal, Milton Keynes

I am 26, Labour supporter, yet feel lottery cash should help the homeless, and legal aid, both of which have been cut back in recent years - not what I thought my Labour vote was for! Plus, the lottery needs to help the next Formula 1 stars, the future Damon Hills, as the sport brings millions into the UK, and employs some 50,000 people.
A.J.R Selmes, Oxon

Lottery money should be assigned to what it was set up for - anything that didn't already have a proper channel of funding when it was created, like the arts - not hospitals or wards etc. And don't try the old line of "Piece of Modern Art versus Hip operations/Sickly kids/Aids patients." There are plenty of systems already set up to fund these needs.
Matt, Auk

Why don't they use some of the interest off Gordon's Brown war chest ? This is political meddling of the worst kind. Not what the lottery was for.
Michael Thomas, London, UK

Show a politician a pot of money and they won't fail to plunge in

Paul R, UK
Show a politician a pot of money and they won't fail to plunge in with both hands. Chris Smith seems to have found a way to fund his pet projects without affecting his department's budget. A clever scheme indeed, but hardly what the Lottery was intended for.
Paul R, UK

Lottery money should be spent by local people tackling disadvantage in their communities. That was the spirit of the original legislation after all.
Lisa Gale, Loughborough, England

When the lottery started, I used to take part knowing that money was going to good causes. But now I have stopped. After all those millions wasted on the Dome the government is now dipping their hands into the till again by stating where lottery money will be spent. A once great idea has been hijacked by the politicians and is now tainted.
Colin Mackay, UK

I pay taxes so the government can look after poor communities

Glenn Burnett, Leeds, UK
I pay taxes so the government can look after poor communities and develop areas of low income and high unemployment. I play the lottery so that projects not funded by the government can progress. If the government uses this money as well where is my tax money going? No wonder Gordon Brown has such a considerable 'war chest'.
Glenn Burnett, Leeds, UK

The proceeds from the National Lottery should be kept out of the grips of politicians entirely. National lottery money is for "good causes" - not for the NHS, education or any other area which would normally be funded through the public purse.
K.Lee, Cleveleys, UK

Bob, UK

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