What the Express is hiding about dirty Des’s not-so-generous charity lottery

Alex Hern looks at the lack of actual health donations from vulgar right-winger Richard Desmond’s ‘health lottery’.

The Daily Express has a large story today plugging the new ‘health lottery’ set up by holding company Northern and Shell.

They proudly report:

Health lottery ambassador Gail Porter got a warm welcome yesterday as she handed out generous cheques to worthy causes.

Some £5million has been pledged to schemes north of the border this year alone.

The TV presenter, 40, was in Glasgow to present the first cheques to communities across Scotland.

The new lottery has promised £50million to charities across Britain over the next year, with the aim of supporting health issues that fall outside the reach of the NHS.

The People’s Health Trust, an independent charitable body, is responsible for deciding where the lottery money is most needed and where it will be spent.

Its inaugural grants programme, Healthy Places Healthy People, will fund activity to reduce isolation among older people and provide support for informal carers, particularly young carers. It will also support local projects that help create healthier environments and communities.

Which is all very good. But strangely, there’s no mention of the actual percentage pledged.

Buried away on their website, one can find the answer:

Your money makes a difference. 20p of every £1 played on The Health Lottery goes directly to local health-related good causes across Great Britain.

There may be one reason why the Express don’t give that figure: It is lower than the National Lottery, which gives 28p of every pound to charity. For all their posturing, every person who switches from the National to the Health Lottery is giving eight per cent less to charity.

But why would the Express not mention that, given their history of hardhittingjournalism‘? It may have something to do with the other companies owned by Northern and Shell, and its founder Richard ‘Dirty’ Desmond:

OK!, New!, Star, Channel 5, 5*, 5USA, Television X, Red Hot TV, Daily Star, Daily Star Sunday, the Daily Express, and the Sunday Express.

The Daily Express: Your number one source for Dirty Des’ latest grubby money spinner.

UPDATE: Not only does it donate less to charity than the National Lottery, the Health Lottery is also exempt from the twelve per cent tax that the National Lottery pays. So it returns to the public exactly half the amount that the National Lottery does.

See also:

Express and Mail fail the migration stats testSunder Katwala, August 26th 2011

Express’s £1billion claim on immigrant housing is absurdJohn Perry, August 18th 2011

Daily Express indulges its EU madness. AgainBen Fox, April 14th 2011

Today’s Express, Mail, Sun and Telegraph all wrong on Incapacity BenefitDeclan Gaffney, February 11th 2011

The Express is wrong: Half of all new jobs have gone to UK citizensRichard Exell, April 8th 2010

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