SNP concern at Olympic cash crisis

SNP Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson, Pete Wishart MP, has demanded assurances after the 2012 Olympics plunged into yet another major cash crisis as the firm building the athletes' village admitted it could not raise the money.

Australian construction company, Lend Lease, said the credit crunch meant it could not find its £450 million share. The crisis means that at least £200 million of public money is being poured in immediately to carry out work on the Stratford site, and Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) chairman John Armitt admitted a public bailout was under way.

Mr Wishart, who has previously warned Scottish good causes must not be "ransacked" to meet the spiralling cost of the London Olympics, said:

"The Olympic budget is already out of control, and this latest crisis underlines just how serious the situation has become.

"While taxpayers money is being poured into the athletes’ village, villages and communities across the rest of the country are paying the price.

"Scottish funds have already been ransacked to subsidise the spiralling Olympic costs, and they must not be raided again.

"Of course the Olympics is great news for London, but good causes in Scotland, Wales and across the English regions should not be short-changed because of Labours incompetent accounting.

"We need urgent assurances from the UK Government that this project will not descend into financial farce."

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Delivery Authority (ODA) chairman John Armitt admitted a public bailout was under way, saying: "The Government at the end of the day will have to come in and support the village - that is understood."

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