`Legalised fraud' of lottery attacked

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The Independent Online
DIANE COYLE

Economics Editor

The National Lottery is little better than legalised fraud and should be abolished, according to one of the Chancellor's economic advisers.

Professor Tim Congdon, a member of the Treasury's panel of "wise people", said: "The National Lottery constitutes disguised taxation, redistributes from the poor to the rich, undermines savings and trivialises the state."

Professor Congdon's broadside on the lottery follows his growing criticism of the Government's interest rate policy. In a submission to the Treasury, he argued that last week's cut in the cost of borrowing would ultimately lead to inflation 3-4 per cent higher than our EU neighbours by 1999.

Writing today in the latest issue of the the journal of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Professor Congdon said a family which spent pounds 5 a week on the Lottery for 25 years, and reinvested any winnings, would have nothing in return.

On the other hand, if the family put pounds 5 into a standard insurance policy it would end up with more than pounds 30,000 over the same period.

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