Mark Hunter MP signs petition supporting local Bingo Players

August 13, 2009 3:10 PM

Mark signed a petition and wrote the the Chancellor in support of local bingo players

Cheadle MP Mark Hunter, along with a number of other MP's, has signed a Downing Street petition urging the Prime Minister not to increase duty on British bingo clubs. Mr Hunter also wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer about the tax increase after a postcard campaign from local bingo-playing constituents who were seriously worried about the affect of this tax on their club.

There are currently fewer than 600 bingo clubs in the UK. Over 60 have closed in the last two years. The situation for many of the others is bleak. While factors such as the smoking ban have played a part in the decline, the main concern is taxation. The recent decision to introduce duty increases from 15% to 22% on bingo is wholly misguided and will put our local bingo clubs under further financial pressure. The changes in bingo duty would make it the most highly taxed form of gambling. Voting on last month's finance bill the Liberal Democrats were the only major party to back a move to halt the increase in bingo duty.

Speaking after signing the motion Mr Hunter said, "Many local people have serious concerns about the damage that this tax increase will do to bingo halls. Many clubs are already struggling to survive and in their postcards constituents raised serious concerns that with a 7% tax increase their local bingo clubs - including clubs in Parrs Wood and Wythenshawe - may have to close.

"Bingo is an important part of our local community and contributes much not just to the local economy but also to local residents. For many the weekly bingo night is an opportunity to enjoy the company of friends as well as the game. But this is in real jeopardy after the tax increases.

"The whole bingo industry has been under severe pressure over recent years and the Government should be finding ways to help it prosper not overburdening it with unreasonable tax demands. I signed this petition and also to write to the Chancellor demanding an explanation on behalf of all local bingo players, who can be assured I'll continue to campaign for its future."

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