The Olympic Rip-Off continues…

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Brian’s mucker Alan Trench reports on the latest Olympic Rip-off
1) Funds for the London Olympics were raised through diverting Lottery Funding

“In the Welsh Affairs Committee Eighth Report of Session 2008–09, the Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP, Minister for the Olympics, recognised that funding of the Olympic Games would lead to a total of £65 million of Lottery funding being diverted away from Wales in order to fund the Games. However, the report also highlighted that a common feature of lottery grant applications is matched funding, hence the figure of £65 million of funding to be diverted away from Welsh projects did not take into account the leverage value of the money. The Welsh Government Minister for Heritage, Alun Ffred Jones AM, is noted as saying that this could result to a loss to Wales as high as £100 million.”
2) Now the three devolved administrations are united in opposition to the way the Treasury have refused to Barnettise the East End regeneration elements of the Olympic spend
“This argument was originally taken up with the Treasury more than three years ago.
Earlier this year, the Scottish Government started a formal dispute procedure,
supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.
All the facts were laid out and discussed in detail. The devolved administrations
agreed that there was a strong case for distributing a fair share of Olympics
spending on regeneration and transport to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Treasury disagreed, arguing that because the Olympics were a UK-level event
and all of the £7.5 billion of spending was essential to providing the Games, there
could be no formula share of spending for the other countries .
Our estimate is that, by the time the Games conclude in 2012, accepting the original
estimate of £1.7 billion for transport and regeneration costs, Scotland would be due
at least £165m in “consequentials”; Wales more than £100m; and Northern Ireland
around £65m. If actual spending turns out to be £2.7 billion as currently predicted,
the consequentials should be proportionately higher. These are significant sums in
our countries, although small in comparison to the overall Games budget.
The UK Government and the devolved administrations have followed the new
dispute resolution arrangements, agreed by the former UK Government and adhered
to by the coalition Government, with meetings at both official and Ministerial level.
We have agreed that the original decision about whether the Barnett formula applied
to elements of the Olympics spending was not handled well in the 2007 Spending
Review, and the UK Government has agreed to change and clarify the rules to help
avoid similar disputes arising in future. The UK Government has also agreed that
any new spending, beyond the Games budget, that is necessary to deliver the
Games legacy for London will attract consequentials. But despite this there has
been no movement on the central issue of the sums we believe should come to the
three countries from transport and regeneration spending on the Olympics, including
both spending so far and spending from now until the Games conclude in 2012.
This means that an issue on which 3 of the countries in the UK are agreed can make
no progress because of the view taken by HM Treasury. The Treasury are therefore
effectively acting as the decision-taker in the process, despite the fact that they are
one of the parties to the dispute. This is only one of several examples where the
Treasury has reached decisions on spending issues with important implications for
the devolved administrations without our agreement, and with significant perceived
unfairness as a result.”
That’s the second joint, hard hitting, statement in a fortnight. Good.

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  • Alias

    “Pigs Demand Equal Distribution of Swill: Angry Grunts Heard” shocker!

    The Olympic games should be reformed anyway. It should be a global even with individual countries holding individual games. i.e. one country holds the running events, and another holds another event, and so on.

    That ensures that the cost of the games is more fairly distributed to all taxpayers in all states, and that all states benefit.

  • Alan Maskey

    Will those thre glorified councils ever pay their way? Do they just want handouts forever.
    The main thing Britain has going for her is the City of London. That is where investment must go for a return on investment.
    Olympics used to lose money before LA. Montreal are still paying it back. Outside of boxing and a few other real sports where the Irish have a chance, the rest is bs.
    Countries like China hold it to how they can do it. Countries like Briitain cannot afford it, or much else.
    Hoever, if it is a choice of funding the Olympics or the Stormint gravy train, it is a no brainer. Olympics every time.

  • Dewi

    Alias – you miss the points.
    1) Good causes were deprived to fund the Olympics
    2) Up to £2.7bn of so called “Olympic” spend is on Re-generation. This spend should have Barnett consequentials. No-one’s asking for a share of the spend on the sporting event.
    Alan:
    1) “Will those thre glorified councils ever pay their way? Do they just want handouts forever.”
    Errr this is a handout from us to London
    2) “The main thing Britain has going for her is the City of London.”
    No wonder if we keep on subsidising it…

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Hopefully the London Olympics will fall flat on its very large ass.
    It should be remembered that the (narrow) victory over the rival bids was the day before the 7/7 attacks in London. All of a sudden the victory hoopla gave way to arealisation that London…….already a target ……would be an even bigger target.
    Predictably the cost (just like the Millenium Dome) spiralled and just as predictably the benefits to the regions were grossly over-stated.
    Justifying the expenditure will of course be much more difficult against a background of “cutbacks” in other areas of public life.
    I expect public resentment to rise. Possibly to include the street violence seen in Mexico City in 1968.
    I dont expect anyone close to the organisation committee to be impoverished as a result of the Games in London.
    And Im sure PR companies will be do well.
    But was it only last week that the organisers were in WALES looking for UNPAID VOLUNTEERS to make the Games a success.
    Perhaps an organised boycott of the exploitation is a good answer.

  • Greenflag

    ‘The main thing Britain has going for her is the City of London.’

    Had . All those hedge fund managers the captains of innovation and trickle down wealth creation don’t at all like the sound of increased taxation on their ill gotten incomes . Mr George ‘Hoover’ Osborne has apparently convinced 40% of them that it’s time to quit Britannia and find a ‘lower tax ‘ environment in which they can play the predator to their hearts and bank accounts content .

    Could I suggest as a final destination for these ungrateful wretches that ideal example of the benefits of small even non existent regulations and even smaller government ..

    Somalia . They might want to bring their own AK 47′s as an insurance policy so they can enjoy their enhanced freedom from British bureaucracy and taxation !

  • Alias

    So I did. Allow me to correct my off-target missive: “Pigs Demand Equal Distribution of Swill: Angry Ruffling of Lawbooks Heard”

  • pippakin

    Perhaps a fair, not to mention rational, person might ask:

    How much does Wales spend on lottery tickets;

    How much has Wales received in lottery funding.

    I genuinely don’t know the answer to the above but they seem reasonable questions and pertinent to the case.

  • Dewi

    Alias – please answer in your usual logical manner..

  • Alias

    Sorry, Dewi, if I upset the chair. However, I’ve answered in my usual illogical manner. I don’t believe in ‘countries’ being on the dole, depending on hand-outs from another country so I have a hard job taking their demands for more hand-outs seriously when they should be aiming for self-sufficiency and then independence. I also addressed the ‘fairness’ point indirectly by stating that the white elephants spawned by the Olympics occurring in one country should be avoided by different Olympic events being held in different countries. I think it insane that the UK should spent billions on this nonsense at a time when it is depriving taxpayers of more fundamental services. But then again I also thought it was insane to re-elect a tosser like Blair after he squandered a cool billion on a tent, but the UK public disagreed.

  • The Raven

    They do that in all regions, I believe. The DCAL minister said only this morningthat per-capita take up of such volunteering opportunities was higher in NI than the other regions. Just sayin’, like.

  • Dewi

    “Perhaps a fair, not to mention rational, person might ask:

    How much does Wales spend on lottery tickets;

    How much has Wales received in lottery funding.”

    http://www.eauk.org/articles/national-lottery.cfm

    “According to the report, Blaenau Gwent in South Wales was the poorest area in the UK, but ranked 133rd in amount of lottery funding received.”