The celebrations may only just be winding down after the victory of
London's bid to host the 2012 Olympics, but already the funding of the
Games is coming under intense media scrutiny.
A major Sunday newspaper claimed recently that the government has
secretly pledged £1 billion of taxpayers' money to the capital for
projects related to the Olympics. Originally the Games were
supposed to be funded by a combination of Lottery funding and a levy on
the capital city's council taxpayers.
Analysts have been quick to speculate that the London bid team greatly
underestimated the costs involved and that the current funding
framework is not in shape to cope with the rising costs. Some are
already drawing parallels with Greece, whose original Olympics budget
of £2.5 billion ultimately rose to £9 billion of spending last year.
On a more positive note, the Lottery funding has been quick out of the
blocks. The 'Go for Gold' scratchcard game was launched at the
end of July this year and has already raised £2 million for London's
massive Olympic construction project. It will take a long jump,
however, to achieve the final target of £750 million of funding from
this source over the next seven years.