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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Charities Being Short-Changed as Westminster Fails to Deliver says MP

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Commenting on reports that the Westminster government will give the Treasury a cash bonus because of an underspend in the 2012 Olympic budget instead of paying it back to charities as originally thought, local MP Eilidh Whiteford said:

“It is just not on that this money is going to the Treasury coffers in Westminster instead of to the charities that desperately need it - Westminster should give it back to hard pressed charities struggling to cope.

“Charities and community groups were hit hard when the Big Lottery Fund was raided to the tune of £425 million to pay for infrastructure and stadium developments for the 2012 London Olympics. They took a hit then, and they should be at the front of the queue now that there is some cash available to give back.

“The projected underspend has now been estimated and it now looks as if there is another £528 million pounds, in addition to an earlier announcement of £377 million. Rather than helping George Osborne out of a hole with his failed austerity programme, it should all go to charities and community groups struggling for funding. This is the wrong decision and should be reversed.”

In a written statement to Parliament the UK Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson has revealed that the projected cost of the Olympic Games has fallen by £528 million. This marks a further increase on the £377 million underspend projected in October 2012. In the build-up to the Games the last Government raided £425 million from the Big Lottery Fund to pay for stadia and infrastructure in London.

More information on the Big Lottery Refund campaign --can be found here www.biglotteryrefund.org.uk

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