The Olympics

The Olympics


News, information and stories about the Olympic Games.

Monday, 13 November 2006

Olympics Bill Soars

The costs of the 2012 Olympics in London are already rising well beyond those originally budgeted for, not helped by the fact that the VAT element had been conveniently "forgotten" by those who put together the original budget.

It is now feared that these rising costs could have a damaging impact on the national lottery's ability to fund good causes.

John Whittingdale, a Tory MP who chairs the culture, media and sport select committee, said:

"The lack of clarity over the Olympic budget is of considerable concern. It is all very murky - the status of the regeneration budget is unclear and the question of VAT on construction work has not been clarified.

The impact on traditional lottery good causes could be horrendous. It is ringing all kinds of alarm bells at every lottery distributor

Negotiations are taking place between the Treasury and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to provide new funds for the games.

The long suffering tax payers of London are expected to foot some of the bill, even though they weren't consulted in the first place as to whether they wanted the Olympics.

Additional funding will also come from the national lottery. On the existing budget the lottery has to raise £1.5BN.

Mr Whittingdale said:

"The Olympic lottery games have already top-sliced a lot of money from the main game to the Olympics; if it is top-sliced even more, it will mean further hits to the distribution bodies."

A culture department spokesman said:

"It has always been the case that the lottery would be a major part of the funding package. The Olympics present a fantastic opportunity to get people taking up sport, and [for] regenerating an area."

As ever it will be the tax payer who has to fund the ambitions of politicians.

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