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|Brown Could Drop Tax Bombshell on Olympics|
- VAT for 2012 games bill in the hundreds of millions
GORDON BROWN stands accused of creating a cash crisis for the 2012 Olympics by insisting the London games pays Value Added Tax on its spending.
"It would be an issue of the very gravest concern if the Chancellor has gone back on undertakings and saddled the Olympics with a huge bill," said Shadow Sports Minister Hugh Robertson.
It is believed the government originally agreed that the Olympic organisers would not have to pay VAT - which is likely to amount to about half a billion pounds if other costs are stable - but that Chancellor Brown has now decided on a change of plan.
A spokesperson from Brown's department would only say that, "work on the budget is still continuing."
One reason for the apparent change of heart over VAT could be that letting the Olympics off the sales tax would break European Union rules on competition practise.
Clearly the VAT money would need to be found from somewhere, but the fear among local politicians is that the bill might be presented to the London, not the national, taxpayer.
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