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5.50 pm

Mr. Caborn: With the leave of the House, I wish to reply to this excellent debate. Some 16 or 17 Members have been able to contribute, and the quality of the speeches was very high. I do not have time to respond to all the points that were made, so I shall address one or two major areas to provide some reassurances. The other issues can be taken up in Committee.

On the question of the levy system, we had identified September 2005 as the most likely date for abolition. That would have meant that there would be one more levy, for 2004–05, followed by a six-month period for the levy board to achieve an orderly closure. It is the Government's intention to end the levy system, but because of the uncertainties that have been outlined this afternoon by several hon. Members—and that are still felt by the racing industry—about the deliberations of the OFT, we have decided to extend the life of the levy board to September 2006. We have listened to and taken note of what people have said.

The concerns of the House about the OFT and its relationship with racing were also raised at Question Time on Monday. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has been in correspondence with the OFT, although unfortunately I cannot disclose the details—

Mr. Don Foster: Why not?

Mr. Caborn: I am informed by officials that that is how it has been done in the past. [Interruption.] That is all the answer that the hon. Gentleman will get, so let us not waste time. I have written to the racing industry to ask for a meeting to discuss the issue. A solution is possible, and the OFT has not been as intransigent as some believe. It is important to find a solution so that we can bring some certainty back to the industry.

Hon. Members asked about the sale of the Tote. We set up the shadow trust to answer those questions, and it has had a dialogue with the Treasury. The Tote will be sold in the normal way for an asset of the Government. An independent review will be held and a price set. If we fail to set a fair price for the Tote, we will run into various difficulties. For example, the bookmakers will complain to Europe about state aid and unfair subsidies that could distort the marketplace. When the Bill becomes law—and it has had a fair wind from the House today—we will be able to negotiate a price that reflects the worth of the Tote, with the assistance of the work of the shadow trust. That can be done, as it has been done for the sale of many other Government assets.

8 Jan 2004 : Column 493

The period of seven years reflects the balance that we have, rightly, achieved through discussions with the shadow trust, the Tote and their advisers. They believe that they can raise the purchase price and provide a sustainable business plan to take the organisation into the marketplace, without fearing the competition, in seven years' time. Some Members, including my right hon. Friend the Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook), have argued that the period should be 10 or 15 years; indeed, some people have argued that we should leave the Tote in the public sector as a monopoly. However, that could be a disservice. If the Tote proved, after seven years, that it could not operate in the marketplace so that it could see off all the predators that might want it, it would not have done its job. We have struck a balance; we took advice and took account of the views of the industry. That is why we argued for seven years and that is the course the Government intend to adopt.

Whether or not such points are included in the Bill, it is clear that there is not much trust of the Government in the House. That surprises me, as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has worked so hard on the seven-year proposal. After the discussions that we have held both with the shadow trust and the Tote, it would be naive to say that we do not want to proceed in that way. Nevertheless, I can understand, to some extent, why hon. Members have made some of their comments. We shall set up discussions and negotiations about the price with the shadow trust when the Act is on the statute book.

On the 50 per cent. figure, the Government believe that there are two legitimate stakeholders in the Tote: the racing industry and the taxpayer. It is as simple as that. We intend to sell the Tote to the racing trust; it was a manifesto commitment and we want to honour it.

I shall deal with some of the points that were made about the Olympic games. I thank the hon. Member for North Tayside (Pete Wishart) for his timely contribution. We took account of the views of people throughout the United Kingdom before we made the decision to go ahead with our bid for the games. As has already been indicated, about 81 per cent. of people in Scotland—one of the highest returns—supported the bid.

The hon. Gentleman concluded his remarks by saying that his contribution was actually in support of the London bid. My strong advice to him is to keep his mouth shut for the next 18 months and he will do us a tremendous amount of good—[Interruption.] He would be doing us a favour.

Hon. Members asked what the cost would be and suggested that there would be a displacement from the good causes. I can confirm the 5 per cent. figure that we told the House. On the question of when the new game will start, assuming that the Bill is enacted, a number of hon. Members alluded to the fact that the IOC rules say very clearly indeed that such a lottery cannot begin until after the winning candidate has been confirmed, and I would not dispute that.

Hon. Members have rightly argued about the displacement from other good causes. That is another important point. Broadly speaking, we have agreed with the other good causes that it is right, in the national

8 Jan 2004 : Column 494

interest, to use the lottery for the Olympics, but they say, with some justification, that they would not want the new lottery to take place until the arrangements have been confirmed at Singapore in July 2005, when I hope that we will win the bid for 2012. So we have to take that on board as well. Again, there has to be a balance, and the good causes have played ball with us very much indeed.

On the betting levy, we have produced all our costings with a 12 per cent. levy for the Olympic draw—

Question put, That the Bill be now read a second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 348, Noes 5.

Division No. 24
[5.59 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane
Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Amess, David
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Arbuthnot, rh James
Atkins, Charlotte
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Austin, John
Bacon, Richard
Bailey, Adrian
Barker, Gregory
Barnes, Harry
Barron, rh Kevin
Battle, John
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bellingham, Henry
Benn, rh Hilary
Bercow, John
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blizzard, Bob
Blunt, Crispin
Boateng, rh Paul
Boswell, Tim
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brooke, Mrs Annette L.
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Burnside, David
Burstow, Paul
Butterfill, John
Byers, rh Stephen
Caborn, rh Richard
Cairns, David
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, rh Menzies (NE Fife)
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chope, Christopher
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Conway, Derek
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack (Copeland)
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davies, Quentin (Grantham & Stamford)
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Davis, rh Terry (B'ham Hodge H)
Dean, Mrs Janet
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dobson, rh Frank
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Duncan, Alan (Rutland)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Evans, Nigel
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flight, Howard
Flint, Caroline
Foster, rh Derek
Foster, Don (Bath)
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Foulkes, rh George
Francois, Mark
Gardiner, Barry
Garnier, Edward
George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Paul
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Grogan, John
Gummer, rh John
Hain, rh Peter
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hammond, Philip
Hancock, Mike
Hanson, David
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John (S Holland)
Healey, John
Heath, David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Hendrick, Mark
Hendry, Charles
Heppell, John
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hoey, Kate (Vauxhall)
Holmes, Paul
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Howells, Dr. Kim
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hunter, Andrew
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Ingram, rh Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Jowell, rh Tessa
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Keen, Ann (Brentford)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lammy, David
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Letwin, rh Oliver
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Lilley, rh Peter
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Loughton, Tim
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McFall, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
Mackinlay, Andrew
McLoughlin, Patrick
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Malins, Humfrey
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
May, Mrs Theresa
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Morley, Elliot
Morris, rh Estelle
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Olner, Bill
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Paterson, Owen
Perham, Linda
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris (Gravesham)
Portillo, rh Michael
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Rammell, Bill
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Raynsford, rh Nick
Redwood, rh John
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Rendel, David
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rooney, Terry
Rosindell, Andrew
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Adrian
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shepherd, Richard
Sheridan, Jim
Short, rh Clare
Simon, Siôn (B'ham Erdington)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soames, Nicholas
Soley, Clive
Spellar, rh John
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Squire, Rachel
Stanley, rh Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Stunell, Andrew
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Teather, Sarah
Thurso, John
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Tyrie, Andrew
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Viggers, Peter
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walter, Robert
Wareing, Robert N.
Watkinson, Angela
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whittingdale, John
Wicks, Malcolm
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wilkinson, John
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Winnick, David
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Joan Ryan and
Paul Clark


Ewing, Annabelle
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Salmond, Alex
Weir, Michael
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)

Tellers for the Noes:

Pete Wishart and
Mr. Elfyn Llwyd

Question accordingly agreed to.

8 Jan 2004 : Column 496

Bill read a Second time.

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