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Amendment 4

Part of Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill [HL] - Committee – in the House of Lords at 5:15 pm on 9th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 5:15 pm, 9th July 2019

My Lords, I am grateful for those contributions. The noble Lord, Lord Rooker, and the right reverend Prelate are a difficult combination to face. The noble Lord was asking me to make a name for myself by opposing the Treasury and announcing a new tax from the Dispatch Box, while the right reverend Prelate said, “It’s only £1—that’s very little”. This is really a question of “Lead me not into temptation”, but I wonder how long that £1 would stay as £1.

The issue here relates to the actual amount of the budget for the Games and how it can be paid for. As we now know, there will be a £778 million investment, to be split approximately 75:25 between central government and Birmingham City Council and a number of its key partners. I was not quite clear what the noble Lord, Lord Griffiths, meant about the funding shortfall; I understand that the city council’s contribution to the Games budget was considered by a meeting of the full council earlier this year. The spending based on that budget will be tightly monitored across all the Games partners to ensure control—an issue which I know the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, talked about at Second Reading. We are confident that the budget announced is sufficient to deliver a strong Games for the city but I absolutely agree with the points raised at Second Reading, and earlier this afternoon by the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, saying that Parliament should be provided with more information regarding the Games budget. This will be forthcoming.