… something on which I can agree with Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson:
Theresa May’s government faces becoming the first to suffer a defeat on its own budget bill in 40 years after Tory MPs including Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson and David Davis joined a rebellion over fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).
More than 70 MPs from both sides of the House of Commons have signed two amendments designed to force the government to bring forward the timing of the planned cut in FOBT maximum stakes to April 2019.
Tracey Crouch resigned as sports minister this month after the chancellor, Philip Hammond, revealed in the budget that the policy would not take effect until October 2019.
These machines are one of the most pernicious devices ever devised for parting poor people from their money. They ought to have been illegal from the outset. It was a scandal that it took the government as long as it did to propose a palliative remedy — to reduce the maximum stake that people could wager. And then the industry — furious at the loss of its cash-cow — ambushed the Treasury with a ‘report’ that persuaded the Chancellor to delay the introduction of the new regulation. If you wanted an indictment of neoliberal governance, then this was/is a pretty good example.