Cuts to Big Lottery
Proposals by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport to cut £30m from Big Lottery funding for charities in Scotland will prove devastating and impact on the most vulnerable in our local communities.
It emerged recently that the Department is proposing to reduce the money bound for the Lottery Fund from 40 per cent to 25 per cent, so that more can be directed to fund the arts and sport.
However, these cuts would leave the Big Lottery in Scotland virtually unable to fund new work, with existing commitments swallowing up almost all its remaining funds.
This seems rather odd, in that in the run up to the independence referendum the pro-Unionist Better Together campaign argued that the only way to protect lottery funding was through the Union.
It is perverse to cut support from charities when there has never been a greater need due to government austerity.
Indeed, the Trussell Trust have indicated that food bank use in Scotland has increased to record levels, with more than 60,000 referrals over a six month period.
To add insult to injury the Scottish Government has never even been consulted on such a move.
UK Ministers should resist the temptation to adjust lottery spending to accommodate pressure on public expenditure, and should be doing everything it can to protect Big Lottery Fund funding, not looking to cut it.
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