Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Every Little Helps

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Every Little Helps

Article excerpt

THIS COMING Monday, the five cities competing to stage the 2012 Olympic Games will put in their bids to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Paris is in the lead; London is close behind. But whereas the French government has pledged to inject [pounds sterling]1.7 billion into a Paris Games, the British government has pledged nothing - the money coming instead from ticket sales, TV deals, a new Lottery game specifically for the Olympics, London's council tax payers and the London Development Agency. This privatised bid has been cleverly calculated to meet the costs of staging the Games and may be sufficient to do so. But some IOC members who hail from very different economic backgrounds to ours, will be puzzled by a bid from Britain which its own government does not back with money. They will note that while Paris has backed its bid with both enthusiasm and funding, Downing Street has confined itself to enthusiasm (somewhat belated at that). It is in this context that Conservative MPs have met the Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, to discuss a way in which the Government could contribute directly, while easing the plight of Londoners who typically would be liable to pay an extra [pounds sterling]20 a year council tax for 12 years. …

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