Gliderdrome hails George Osborne’s bingo tax cut

Gliderdrome, Boston
Gliderdrome, Boston

Campaigners who have fought to see a cut in bingo tax are among those to have seen their numbers come up in this year’s budget statement.

Chancellor George Osborne announced on Wednesday (March 19) that bingo duty - the levy on the profits of bingo promoters – is to be halved to 10 per cent.

It follows a campaign calling for the figure to be cut to 15 per cent, which saw a petition of more than 300,000 names sent to Downing Street.

Among those to have supported the campaign is Boston’s Gliderdrome, in Spain Place. Earlier this year, the venue collected signatures by holding a special game in which the bingo cards had petition slips on the back.

Across the town’s bingo venues, more than 800 signatures were collected.

Gliderdrome manager Andrew Malkinson said he was ‘delighted’ with the cut.

He said: “It’s going to help enormously.”

He said in recent years the industry has been hit by The National Lottery, online bingo and the introduction of the smoking ban.

“We have weathered the storm and the future looks a lot brighter,” he added.

In addition, he said customers can also expect to gain from the cut in duty, with more money being available for the prizes.

He said: “The customer will see a benefit without a doubt.”

Also announced in last week’s budget was a second consecutive cut of a penny in beer duty.

Stuart Bateman, managing director of Batemans Brewery, in Wainfleet, said: “It’s just great news. There has been a lot of lobbying from the industry in general and the public and publications. It does seem the Government is listening to the plight of pubs.”

He added: “What I think is more interesting is they are beginning to realise pubs are the centre of communities and there are too many pubs that are closing down.”

The chancellor described his 2014 budget as one for ‘the makers, the doers and the savers’.

In addition, it is one for repairers of roads, with £200 million being made available for local authorities to tackle potholes. Other key announcements included:

* Increasing the point at which people pay income tax to £10,500 next year.

* Increasing the threshold for 40p income tax to £41,865 next month and by a further one per cent in 2015.

* Abolishing the 10p rate for savers from next month.

* Merging cash and stocks ISAs, with the limit for tax-free saving raised to £15,000.

* Removing all tax restrictions on pensioners’ access to their pensions.

* Freezing duty on cider and spirit and abolishing the duty escalator for wine.

* Upping tobacco duty by two per cent above inflation.

* Scrapping September’s planned duty rise on petrol.

* Increasing duty on fixed odds betting terminals by 25 per cent.

* Providing £140 million of new funding to repair flood defences that suffered damage in the recent severe flooding.

With more than £11.7 million pledged to councils in the East Midlands, Lincolnshire is getting the biggest share at £3.3 million - with the next highest figure of £2.9 million going to Derby, while Nottingham receives £232,906.

Lincolnshire County Council’s portfolio holder for highways, Coun Richard Davies, said he is ‘delighted’ with the investment.

“Lincolnshire faces particular challenges for highways maintenance because of its size and rurality, so any additional funding is always welcome,” Coun Davies said.

“We’ll ensure that this money is put to good use, and will do all we can to keep the county’s roads in the best possible condition with the cash that’s available.”

All highway authorities will have to to publish information on their website by end August, 2014, showing where the money has been spent.