Sports Minister Shona Robison today met Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore to make the case for the return of lottery money diverted from Scottish good causes to support London 2012.
During the meeting Ms Robison highlighted that the UK Government had previously accepted the principle that Scotland and its good causes are being disadvantaged and sought Mr Moore’s support in pressing his Westminster colleagues to come forward with proposals that will ensure equitable treatment for Glasgow 2014.
The Minister also raised the issue of tax exemptions which have been granted to the London Olympics but not the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The Olympics have been granted concessions on Corporation Tax and business tax for international companies.
In addition London 2012 and a number of other major sporting events in England have been exempted from the rules on the taxing of endorsement and sponsorship income, introduced by the previous UK Government.
Ms Robison highlighted the fact that there is strong evidence these rules are deterring the very top level athletes from coming to the UK for sporting events which are not exempt.
Ms Robison said:
“Within the coalition agreement the UK Government acknowledged the importance of working with us to deliver a successful 2014 Commonwealth Games and I am pleased to report that my meeting with the Secretary of State this morning was constructive.
“The Scottish Government has argued for some time for the return of Lottery money diverted away from Scottish good causes to help fund the London Olympics and it is encouraging that Mr Moore has acknowledged the importance of this.
“Officials at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have confirmed that a sum of £114 million is involved and there is no question in my mind that the return of this funding would help turn what we consider a good legacy from the 2014 games into a great legacy.
“In terms of taxation, the Scottish Government has made a formal request to HM Treasury for the same treatment to be shown to the 2014 Commonwealth Games as has been granted to the 2012 Olympics and other major sporting events in England. I was given an assurance by Mr Moore that he would raise our concerns with his Treasury Ministerial colleagues and I hope everyone will recognise that we are simply seeking a fair and equitable outcome for Scotland.”
During a meeting between Ms Robison and then Secretary of State Andy Burnham on 31 March 2009, DCMS officials conceded to Scottish Government officials they calculated that £114 million in lottery money had been diverted from Scottish good causes to support London 2012.
Scottish good causes have suffered as a result of the top slicing of Lottery funding for the 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
The Scottish Parliament in late 2008 unanimously supported the return of the money diverted to the Olympics to support a lasting legacy from Glasgow 2014.
‘The Coalition: our programme for government’ published on Thursday May 20, 2010 stated:
“We will work with the Scottish Government to deliver a successful Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.”