It seems that support for the boost Bingo campaign is slowly gathering momentum. Over the weekend over 400 signatures were collected for the petition at Mecca Bingo in Bridgewater, and more signatures are being collected up and down the country.
But time has moved on and now support is also being gathered from social media and other online sources. The Bingo Association’s “Reduce the excessive tax burden on bingo” petition on Change.org has to date collected 2,563 signatures, and is seeking to collect a million in total. It’s very easy to sign, it only takes a few minutes and an email address. If you’d like to show your support for the campaign against unfair taxation please click here.
To date approximately 50 MPs have pledged to visit their local bingo halls to show support, as it seems that they realise that whilst not as important as hospitals and other institutions, bingo is an actual business that whilst creating jobs also provides a social network for many people.
Obviously the same could be said about other businesses such as public houses, but for some reason the government has been particularly hard on bingo clubs over the years when it comes to taxation. After thorough research I have yet to find a justification for the discrimination, so can only assume that it is a matter of ‘what can be got away with’.
It may also have something to do with ‘who’ plays bingo, as it is pointless denying that there is a class element involved in bingo. A huge perceived problem with current politics is the distance that is evident between politicians and the people they claim to represent. In 2010, 53% of the Conservative/Liberal Democratic Cabinet came from a privately educated background. Politics has taken a twist over recent years with scandals such as ‘politicians expenses’ creating a (further) lack of trust from an increasingly confused and disheartened electorate. It has become more of a mud slinging match than a test of policies.
If wide scale political support is shown for the reduction in bingo taxation, it will not bridge the gap as too much damage has, and continues to be done. It would however be a step in the right direction, showing a bit of consideration for a cherished UK institution. Both the big players are pussy footing around on issues of austerity, benefits, and immigration, however, a yes vote for bingo would be a winner all around. Although there is the gaming element, there are few who would argue that the business does more harm than good. More importantly it is a revenue providing industry that will not be able to provide revenue if it dies on it’s feet, which it may do unless taxation is reduced. Please show your support by signing the petition above.
By: Gareth Whieldon