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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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MP Hears of Concerns for Local Jobs Over New UK Gaming Tax

Friday, 20 July 2012

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford heard at first hand today local concerns over the UK Government’s planned new gaming tax.

The MP met with Robert Syme, Manager of Gala Bingo in Peterhead to discuss the potential effect of the UK Government’s planned introduction of Machine Games Duty on the viability of local bingo halls.  Whilst there, Dr Whiteford took up the offer to call one of that afternoon's bingo games.

Speaking in Peterhead, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“I was pleased for the opportunity to meet with the manager of the Gala Bingo in Peterhead to discuss the UK Government’s plans to introduce a tax on gaming machines.

“I have been left in no doubt at the enormous impact that this hefty tax will have on the viability of bingo halls and betting shops the length and breadth of the country.

“With the UK Government planning to set the inaugural rate of this tax at 20%, the profit margins of these high street shops will be squeezed to breaking point.  These facilities create jobs in the local area, ensure economic activity in vibrant town centres and in some cases, are important social networks for the community.  It is quite clear that this new tax will threaten the future of these stores.

“In tough economic times, the UK Government ought to be supporting businesses to create jobs and growth, rather than threatening their survival.”

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