Leading Conservative MP Priti Patel and Labour peer Lord Boateng have given their support for charity lottery reform and are urging the UK Government to increase the amount of money charity lotteries can raise for good causes.

In speeches at People’s Postcode Lottery Parliamentary Reception, Ms Patel and Lord Boateng supported increasing the maximum amount which charity lotteries can raise per year from £10 million to £100 million. If implemented, the move would unlock millions of pounds worth of additional funding for charities and good causes, as well as cutting unnecessary bureaucracy and administration costs.

This £100 million limit was set out as the UK Government’s ‘preferred option’ in last year’s public consultation on the issue and is also the amount recommended by the official regulator, the Gambling Commission.

The latest backers come further to growing cross-party support including, Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson MSP, former Charities Minister Tracey Crouch MP and Deputy First Minister of Scotland John Swinney MSP. In Parliament over 30 MPs across six Parliamentary parties have backed an Early Day Motion on the issue.

In addition to securing cross-party political support, the campaign has won widespread backing across the charity sector. Last month, 85 charity leaders, including the Chief Executives of the British Red Cross, NSPCC, Marine Conservation Society, War Child and Crisis, wrote to the UK Culture Secretary, Jeremy Wright, urging him to press ahead with the changes to charity lottery laws.

The Government has recognised the vital contribution which fundraising by charity lotteries makes to communities across the country, yet the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has not yet reported the findings of a consultation which closed last September.

A recent report showed that over the past two years thousands of small, local charities across Britain have missed out on funding worth £45 million due to the current charity lottery limits.

Priti Patel MP said:

“The Government has been considering charity lottery reform for long enough and must now raise the charity lottery annual sales limit as a matter of urgency. Too many charities are being caught out and are now wasting money on administration and bureaucracy instead of providing frontline support and services. These reforms will empower charities and good causes with more freedom and flexibility to raise funds, engage with the public and promote the fantastic work that they do. We’ve been promised a decision by the Government and it is time they got on and agreed to this reform to raise the charity lottery sales limit to £100 million. For too long there’s been talk of reform from the Government so now is the time for action.

“Players of People’s Postcode Lottery provide good causes across Britain with millions of pounds of funding every single year. Changes to the law can help them achieve even more for local and national charities, but for every day the Government dithers and delays they are losing out.”

Commenting Lord Boateng said:

“People’s Postcode Lottery makes a particularly important contribution by generating funds for charities which are often working in difficult and challenging situations. It meets funding needs which would otherwise go unmet. It is vital that People’s Postcode Lottery, and the charities its players support, should not be constrained by outdated, unnecessary, and burdensome statutory provisions.”

Clara Govier, Managing Director at People’s Postcode Lottery, said:

“The charity lottery sector is an important part of the funding landscape, raising hundreds of millions of pounds each year. Yet, it is the only type of fundraising to have strict limits placed on it by law. These limits are outdated and are resulting in charities losing out on vital funding. People’s Postcode Lottery wants this to change.

“A new £100 million limit was the Government’s ‘preferred option’ in its 2018 consultation – a change that has also secured strong support from within the third sector and elsewhere. Putting in place a tenfold increase in the amount charity lotteries can raise will make a real difference to thousands of charities and good causes in Britain and beyond.

“The Government has an opportunity here to unlock millions of pounds of additional funding. This straightforward change can be implemented at no cost to the taxpayer or treasury and would future-proof the sector while allowing charity lotteries to grow.”

Since 2005, players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised £438 million for 5,500 charities and good causes. This funding is transforming lives and communities in Britain and beyond.

Jo Youle, Chief Executive of Missing People, added:

“At Missing People, we’ve received more than £6 million over ten years, thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, to help reunite missing children and adults with their families. This long-term funding is vital. It allows us to provide round the clock support to people who are thinking about leaving home, those who have already gone and their families left behind.

“The current, outdated charity lottery sales limit is leading to excessive bureaucracy and additional administration costs. Last year, the Government said raising the charity lottery sales limit to £100 million was their ‘preferred option’ and we agree with them. The official regulator, the Gambling Commission, has looked very closely at this issue and has consistently found that the growth of charity lotteries has made no significant impact on the National Lottery. It’s time to let all of us do more.”

For more on charity lottery limits visit: www.letusdomore.info