Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Olympic overspend

BBC News reports

The 2012 Olympic Games could overshoot its £9.3bn budget unless "rigorous action" is taken to curb costs, the Whitehall spending watchdog has warned.

The National Audit Office said a doubling in estimated security costs meant there was a "real risk" more taxpayer funding would be needed.

You have to read further down to find the true horror:

How 2012 budget has changed

  • 2003: Consultants Arup put total cost of building and staging the Games at £1.796bn
  • 2003: Tessa Jowell launches bid in May telling MPs it will cost £2.375bn - including a 50% contingency
  • 2005: Bid succeeds in July with "prudent" estimate of preparing for games of £2.4bn
  • 2007: Total budget, including a £2.75bn contingency, reaches £9.325bn
  • 2010: In May the new government cuts the budget to £9.298bn and the contingency falls to £1.27bn
  • 2011: In December the NAO says after the government's "assessed risks" are met £36m is left in contingency money
David Craig dedicates a chapter to the London Olympics in his 2008 book, Squandered. He concludes:
Why hold the Olympics in London or anywhere else? The Olympics started in Greece. In 2004, Athens did quite a creditable job with their Games, which they are still paying for. If the Olympics were only held in Athens in the future, the Greeks would find some use for all the expensive facilities they have already built and many tens of billions of pounds could be saved.
Makes sense to me.

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