Return Olympic underspend to lottery losers

Questioning the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in the House of Commons, SNP MP Pete Wishart called for the £476m Olympic contingency underspend to be returned to vulnerable groups and communities who missed out after lottery money was diverted from good causes to support London 2012.

Mr Wishart has long argued for the return of £114million in lottery money diverted away from Scottish good causes to help fund the London Olympics. Estimates of Scottish Lottery bodies direct contributions to the 2012 Olympics based on Scotland's share of the various UK good causes are:

* £73 million from the BIG lottery fund in Scotland
* £18 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund
* £13 million from sportscotland
* £12.5 million from the Scottish Arts Council
* £1.8 million from Scottish Screen

Mr Wishart said:

“It is great news that the Olympics have come in under Budget, but instead of disappearing into the Treasury black hole, this money should be returned to the good causes across the UK who lost out when lottery funds were raided.

“As much as £114 million in lottery money was diverted from Scottish good causes to support London 2012, and that money should now be returned so it can benefit vulnerable groups and communities.

“With charities facing a funding downturn as a result of the UK Government’s cuts and austerity agenda, returning this money would be the right thing for the Treasury to do.”