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Labour proposes new tax on bookmakers

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Labour says it could think about forcing bookmakers to pay a levy to assist deal with downside gamblers.

Deputy chief Tom Watson will say the money can be used for NHS therapy and to finish the “damaging cycle of dependancy”.

Talking on the occasion convention in Brighton, he’ll announce a assessment of the extent of the issue.

In the meantime, Labour may even name on the federal government to spend an additional £500m on a winter bailout fund for the NHS.

The Affiliation of British Bookmakers has stated it could not oppose an “acceptable, obligatory levy” to fund downside playing therapy.

Labour has vowed to sort out Britain’s “hidden epidemic of playing dependancy”, and earlier this month proposed a ban on adverts for betting corporations on soccer shirts.

Mr Watson will return to the theme in his speech to delegates on Tuesday, saying some firms are “intentionally focusing on our poorest communities at the same time as lots of of 1000’s of lives are ruined by dependancy”.

“Playing dependancy is an sickness and it is about time it was taken significantly,” he’ll say.

Labour’s assessment may even study the flexibility of the NHS to supply psychological well being companies to playing addicts.

A 2015 report by the Playing Fee estimated variety of “downside gamblers” between from 300,000 to 430,000 folks.

It outlined this as “playing to a level that compromises, disrupts or damages household, private or leisure pursuits”.

Presently, playing firms make voluntary contributions to the charity GambleAware to assist pay for schooling, analysis, and treating playing dependancy.

Labour will think about changing this with a obligatory system.

The Affiliation of British Bookmakers stated it backed an “evidence-based method to serving to downside playing within the UK and would assist Mr Watson’s concept of a assessment, if it facilitated this”.

A spokesman added: “We additionally wouldn’t oppose an acceptable, obligatory levy on the playing trade to fund downside playing therapy, as we’ve lengthy argued that the playing trade must work collectively to scale back the variety of downside gamblers and tackle the truth that most downside gamblers transfer between totally different types of playing.”

Additionally on day three of Labour’s convention in Brighton, shadow well being secretary Jonathan Ashworth will name for a £500m winter bailout for the NHS.

Mr Ashworth will inform delegates the prime minister should not stick her “head within the sand” as a result of a “collapse” on the identical scale as final 12 months’s winter disaster would result in 1000’s of individuals ready longer for A&E therapy.

Labour will say the additional cash is required to spice up the capability of hospitals, permit the NHS to rent further non-agency workers and enhance the switch of sufferers to social care.

The occasion has pledged to spice up spending on the NHS by means of a 5% hike in earnings tax for the best earners and says a winter bailout may very well be paid for by means of this.

The federal government stated it has “sturdy plans in place” for winter that are supported by “an additional £100m for A&E departments and £2bn funding for the social care system”.


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