The Olympics

The Olympics


News, information and stories about the Olympic Games.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

The Untouchable

The UntouchableWhenever a politician claims that a particular sum of money is "ring fenced" for a specific purpose, much like when they open their mouths, always assume that they are lying.

We were promised by Tessa Jowell that the £2.2BN contingency fund set aside for last-minute costs of the 2012 Olympic Games was "untouchable", and would be locked away for years.

It should therefore come as no surprise to learn that ministers are now planning to use a large chunk of that fund, in order to ensure that the Olympic village is built as planned.

Negotiations on the public-private deal between the Olympics authorities and Bovis Lend Lease, the development firm selected to build the village, have hit a "snafu" as a result of the credit crunch.

Bovis Lend Lease is apparently having difficulties raising the necessary money to fund the £2BN project. Bovis Lend Lease is also understood to be concerned that a London property price crash would drastically reduce the amount it could recoup when selling or renting the homes in east London after the games.

To the rescue comes the "untouchable" fund. In order to release the money, Jowell and Alistair Darling have to give approval.

The question is what happens when the "untouchable" fund is all used up, and that there is another funding "emergency"?

Oh, wait a minute, the budget will simply be increased - problem solved!

The Olympics, a licence to print money!

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