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|Olympic Funding Row Moves to the Lottery|
- Government 'doesn't understand' us, says Big Lotto chief
PLANS to use more National Lottery money to fund the 2012 Olympics have come under fire.
"Whitehall doesn't really understand the Lottery," said the Big Lotto Fund's Sir Clive Booth. "They just assume that the lottery is this enormous pot of money and that you can just help yourself to some of it, and that there are no adverse consequences."
Booth sees those adverse consequences as being the smaller amounts of money available to other good causes funded by the Lottery, should the Olympics be handed more cash.
It's a point acknowledged by the government minister in charge of the Olympics, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, who said: "We accept that using National Lottery funding for London 2012 represents a loss of income to the non-Olympic good causes.
"However, we remain convinced that the benefits the games will bring will far outstrip any effect created by such a diversion."
East London regeneration, the boost given to the nation's sporting habits and therefore its health and the facilities left over after the games make up those suggested benefits.
Behind the debate on using Lottery funds lies previous wrangling over Olympic funding, when other measures, such as an increased special tax on Londoners, were found to be highly unpopular.
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