Parliamentary Questions about the cost of the London 2012 Olympics plans

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Parliamentary Questions to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, answered on the 1st of November 2004.

"Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what her most recent assessment is of the cost to public funds of the proposed London Olympics in 2012; and if she will make a statement. [194207]

Mr. Caborn: As set out in the Command Paper 5867, laid before the House in June 2003, provision has been made for a public sector funding package of up to £2.375 billion to fund Olympic costs.

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether Sportscotland will be contributing funding for the proposed Olympic games in London in 2012. [194208]

Mr. Caborn: In the event of a successful London bid, the sports lottery distributors, including Sportscotland, will contribute a total of £340 million to the overall lottery funding package of up to £1.5 billion. This money will be used to fund elite sport and associated sports infrastructure development. Sport England has already committed £40 million towards the development of an aquatics centre in the Olympic Park. Exactly how the remaining £300 million expenditure will be allocated is a matter for the sports lottery distributors. They are now collectively considering how best to contribute to this element of the lottery funding package in order to maximise Olympic opportunities for elite sport and on-going community legacies. Any expenditure by Sportscotland as part of its contribution

1 Nov 2004 : Column 39W

will be entirely for the benefit of Scotland, for investment in its elite athletes and associated sports infrastructure."

Why on earth does the money allocated for "elite athletes" training and subsisdence for any particular Olympic Games competition, get counted under the London 2012 Olympic Games bid ??

Surely this money from the lottery and public sports funds should and will be spent anyway, no matter which city actually hosts the Games ?

"Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what her latest estimate is of the proportion of funding for the proposed London Olympics which will come from the national lottery. [194211]

Mr. Caborn: As set out in paragraph 12 of the Command Paper 5867, laid before the House in June 2003, the expectation is that public funding for Olympic staging will be met in the ratio 11:24, where 11 is the Olympic precept in London, and where 24 is grants by the national lottery. Additionally, as set out in paragraph 11 of the Command Paper, up to £300 million from the sports lottery distributors will be used to fund elite sport and associated sports infrastructure development. A substantial proportion of the overall costs will be met by Olympic revenues or by the private sector.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much of the allocated spending for the 2012 Olympics will be used on (a) construction costs and (b) promotional costs. [191901]

Mr. Caborn: We are in the process of finalising the budget for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012 should we be successful in our bid. However, the current intention, which is unlikely to change significantly, is that the bulk of the expenditure will go on the construction of venues, provision of transport facilities and the various operational costs associated with staging the games, and that the promotional costs will only be a small proportion of the total.

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) whether Point 17 of the Olympic Funding: Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the Mayor of London

1 Nov 2004 : Column 40W

requires council tax payers in London to fund any overspend associated with the proposed London 2012 Olympics; [194016]

(2) whether the Olympic Funding: Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the Mayor of London requires the Government to fund any cost overspend associated with the proposed Olympics in London in 2012. [194017]

Mr. Caborn: The robust and business-like approach to planning and financial controls on the part of the Olympic Stakeholders is designed to prevent such overspend. As the memorandum of understanding, laid before Parliament as Command Paper 5867, states in paragraph 17, in the event of any overspend the Government will be the ultimate guarantor. We further reported this to Parliament in a departmental minute dated 2 December 2003. As the memorandum goes on to say, the Government expects to discharge that responsibility (should it arise) in a sharing agreement to be agreed as appropriate with the Mayor of London and through seeking additional national lottery funding in amounts to be agreed at the time. At this stage however, no such specific sharing arrangements exist. Whatever the arrangements which might apply, levels of any London council tax precept would be a matter for the Mayor of London."

Even though the UK Government is the "ultimate guarantor" of the inevitable overspend, they will simply claw back some or all of it from what they would otherwise have goven to the mayor of London's budget, so yes, London will end up like Montreal, Sydney etc. paying for uneconomical sports stadia for many years to come, just like the Millenium Dome.

Stealing so much money from the national lottery sports budget, which will already be reduced by competioton from the special Olympic Games lottery products, must have a bad effect on the normal funding of non-Olympic sports and of school sports facilities etc. throughout the UK.

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