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On-line Lotteries: Legislative Control

Lord Dixon asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: We published the draft Lotteries (Frequent Draws) Bill on 7 January for comments. We received responses on behalf of 127 organisations and individuals.

Among those we consulted, 46 respondents supported legislation. These included other gambling sectors, churches, regulators and organisations concerned with

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problem gambling. Seventy-four respondents opposed legislation, predominantly charitable organisations which had hoped for an additional source of finance for their sector. The remaining 7 respondents were neutral or expressed no overall view.

Most of those in favour of legislation supported or accepted the draft Bill's proposal for a limit of one draw a day in all premises. Most of those against it suggested that we should await research on the effect of rapid on-line lottery draws or a general review of gambling legislation.

We have concluded that on-line lotteries do need to be brought under proper statutory controls. We intend to legislate when the legislative programme allows.

As previously proposed, the legislation will be used to limit on-line lottery draws to one a day in any particular premises, with the detailed provisions being amended in the light of points made in consultation.

We also consulted on possible increases to stake and proceeds limits. As previously indicated, it will not be appropriate to proceed with that matter until legislation restricting the frequency of on-line lotteries is in place. In the light of the consultation, we will further consider whether such increases are desirable in due course.

We are making available an analysis of the responses to the consultation and a paper setting out the Government's views on the main points raised. I have placed copies of these documents in the Library, together with the responses.

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BBFC Annual Report

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked the Leader of the House:

    Whether she has any plans to propose the appointment of a House of Lords Select Committee to examine the annual report of the British Board of Film Classification.[HL2809]

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): It is for the Liaison Committee to propose the establishment of a House of Lords Select Committee. We have no specific plans at present to suggest that a committee to examine the Annual Report of the British Board of Film Classification for 1997-98 should be established, although we are happy to consider ways in which the accountability of the BBFC might be enhanced.

EU: Payments by and to Member States

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government: (a) to list for each member state net and gross contributions to the European Union budget for the last year for which figures are available, including net receipts; and (b) to break down net and gross contributions for each member state by household and population.[HL3122]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: 1996 is the latest year for which information about member states' contributions and receipts is available. The information requested, in respect of that year, is set out in the following table. The amounts shown are in European Currency Units, the unit of account for the EC Budget.

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Contributions to and receipts from the EC budget in 1996

Gross contributionReceiptsNet contribution/ receipt(1)PopulationNumber of householdsGross contribution per headGross contribution per householdReceipts per headReceipts per householdNet contribution per headNet contribution per household

(1) (-) denotes net recipient.


(1) Sources: Contributions and receipts data taken from Court of Auditors' Report on 1996 Community Budget.

Population data, relating to 1996, taken from the European Commission's document European Economy.

Information on number of households relates to 1991, the latest available, and is taken from the Eurostat yearbook 1997.

(2) The Court of Auditors uses ecu figures, the unit of account for the EC Budget.

(3) Gross contribution figures are after account has been taken of the UK's abatement (including corrections, in respect of earlier years) and for adjustments to VAT and GNP-based contributions in respect of earlier years.

(4) Receipts figures include European Commission payments made direct to the member state's private sector.

(5) The Court of Auditors' Report does not allocate all Community spending to the member states so that the receipts figures in the table may not represent the full amount of expenditure by the Commission in each member state. Consequently the figures for net contributions/net benefits in the table are likely only to be indicative of the amount of member states' net positions. For example, if all administrative expenditure were allocated to the country in which it is paid, the net position of Belgium and Luxembourg would be substantially improved.

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The Euro

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are planning to allocate any money to promote the euro in 1998-99 or in 1999-2000; and, if so, what is the projected budget; and[HL3120]

    Whether any European Union funding is being provided for the promotion of the euro in the United Kingdom either in 1998-99 or in 1999-2000: and, if so, what are the projected sums.[HL3121]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government's communication campaign on the euro is not aimed at promoting the euro but at ensuring that UK businesses are aware of the implications of the introduction of the single currency from 1 January 1999, and to provide them with the information they need.

To this end, the Treasury Euro Preparations Unit has received Summer Supplementary Estimate provision of £7.5 million to help raise business awareness of the implications of the launch of the euro, and to provide business with practical help during 1998-99. No expenditure has been authorised beyond this.

To date the Commission has agreed to provide £21,000 from the Community funds towards the costs of the publication and distribution of the Treasury booklet "EMU: Practical Information for Business", published last July. We will continue to talk to the Commission about the scope for further help with our campaign for raising business awareness for 1 January 1999.

EU: UK Budget Rebate

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in view of M. Santer's forthcoming report on the European Union's budgetary resources, the question of the United Kingdom rebate is still set in stone.[HL3123]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: As the Prime Minister said on 17 June (House of Commons, Official Report, Cols. 368-385), he made it clear to the Cardiff European Council that the Government will maintain the United Kingdom budget rebate, which cannot be changed without the agreement of government and Parliament.

Department for Culture, Media and Sports' Key Targets for Institutions

The Earl of Clancarty asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there are standards for the assessment of the "key achievements" listed for specific institutions in the annual report of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for 1997; if so, what they are; and what are the mechanisms for the formulation of these standards and the assessment of such key achievements.[HL2676]

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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The institutions which the Department for Culture, Media and Sport funds vary greatly in size, function and history. Key achievements listed for specific institutions in the annual report are drawn from the funding agreements which the department negotiates each year with those institutions. Funding agreements include targets for key achievements, and progress towards targets is discussed with the institutions during the course of each year, and at performance review meetings.

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