Hold the government to account on its promise to repay Lottery money “diverted” to pay for the London Olympics. Thousands of charities lost funding and won’t see it back for up to 25 years.
The Directory of Social Change are putting pressure on the government to repay the £675m raided from the BIG Lottery Fund to cover the extra costs of the London Olympics.
Despite a memorandum of understanding that the money will be repaid, although only after many years of asset and land disposals, the agreement has already been changed several times since it was made in 2007.
Ben Wittenberg, director of policy at DSC, described the arrangements as “murky and getting murkier”.
“Without a stark reminder of the promises made to return the money, there’s a growing concern that the good causes supported by the Big Lottery Fund will lose out when Olympics assets are sold off."
Say the DSC: "This timeframe is simply not acceptable. A repayment schedule lasting several decades is not credible or reliable and we will continue to press for a much clearer commitment from Government to refund the Lottery immediately.
Charities and the millions of people they help need this money now, not in several decades time! How many ministers and how many governments will we have between now and then? How many opportunities will there be to muddle the accountability and kick it even further into the long grass?
Lottery money is not Government money. This money should not have been taken in the first place. Government made a promise to pay it back – and we want it back!"