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Olympic sized hole in Lotto Funding

Last Updated: Wednesday 16th September 2009, 13:04 pm

Lottery fundingIt has been claimed that lottery funding used to cover the huge and still rising cost of the 2012 Olympics may take twenty years to repay. This is due to a £160 million deficit in the Mayor’s finances for London. It means the lotto could have to wait until 2031 to be repaid the £675 million which was opted in 2007 by the Culture secretary after the Olympic budget quadrupled to £9.3 million.

This lottery news is bound to anger supporters of lottery good causes who have long felt the decision to support the Olympics with such a huge amount of cash is a controversial one.

Officials at City Hall in London have admitted that they would need to reschedule repayments to good causes after the Olympic games due to serious mismanagement of the Olympic budget. The investigation into the financial mess is also likely to cost the taxpayer around £1 million.

The National Lottery is providing £2.2 million in total to fund the games but ministers did agree to repay £675 million through the sale of Olympic land under a profit-sharing agreement, But now with the setbacks it looks as though this process of repayment may take as long as 2031.

There’s no doubt the news is a blow to supporters of good causes and further adds weight to the argument that the Olympic fund was never a place where lottery money for good causes should go. Sceptics believe that this cash would have been better spend making communities and charitable organisations around the UK better.

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