Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Olympics Meter Starting To Spin

Ever since we won the wretched thing, it's been obvious the cost would spiral way beyond the ludicrous lies spun by Blair, Tess, and Ken. Our estimate has always been £20bn, compared to the advertised figure of £2.35bn (eg see here).

Today we get the latest reading: £5bn. The head of the Olympic Delivery Authority explains:

"We are still in the early stages of what the additional cost may be but it will be in the order of a billion, perhaps a billion and a half, and clearly that is something that must be funded by the government."

He said that the original budget had been put together without a full analysis of the site or fully-costed designs for new venues.

"Security costs have increased since two years ago and regeneration costs are significantly higher than was allowed for before.... I believe that an adequate contingency needs to be allowed for a programme that still has six years to run."

So that's OK then. That rigorously costed firm and robust estimate of £2.35bn turns out to have been produced on the basis of pretty well nothing.

The only real question for taxpayers is whether this is classic salami slicing, or just sheer downright incompetence.

Either way, we'll be picking up the tab.

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