The Olympics

The Olympics


News, information and stories about the Olympic Games.

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Taxpayers Screwed

As befitting the arrogant incompetence of those who are mismanaging the London 2012 Olympics, Tessa Jowell (whose husband is facing criminal trial in Italy) broke the news to parliament yesterday that the Olympics costs were overrunning and that the taxpayer would be making up the shortfall.

Tessa Jowell, Secretary for Culture Media and Sport, finally had to come clean to the world that the costs were out of control.

Jowell, like all politicians, does not like being caught out; therefore it was a pleasure for many to see her squirm (one must take one's pleasure when one can).

However, this is small compensation for the fact that the British taxpayer (or rather more accurately the London taxpayer) will have to foot the bill for this unwanted white elephant.

Jowell said that she could not rule out funding the shortfall with a further raid on the National Lottery, or by increasing the contribution made by London's council-tax payers.

The original budget of £2.375bn has now been derided as a "fag packet" calculation, and Jowell conceded that the current figure is more like £3.3bn.

This figure is of course nonsense, as the real costs are likely to exceed £8BN.

Why do the organisers keep trying to hide the truth from people?

Answer: because they are incompetent and venal.

Jack Lemley knew the score when he resigned, he saw very clearly that the costs of clearing the toxic waste from the site selected to hold the Olympics would be astronomical.

Why did the organisers choose a toxic dump to hold the Olympics on?

Did they tell the IOC this when they made the bid?

Anyone care to spill the beans on that?

Jowell did her best to blame everyone and everything else for this shambles; rising costs on construction inflation, the doubling of steel prices and a revised figure for public transport links serving the Games site near Stratford. Rather oddly the the original bid figure did not include the £400M cost of hiring the international project management consortium CLM.

Jowell warned that there were further "potential liabilities"; the costs of Olympic security £1BN, the extent of a contingency fund within the budget and a VAT bill of £250M

None of these were in the original budget.

The fact remains a budget is meant to take into account all of the costs.

The organisers have failed, and should be removed from their positions of responsibility.

Whether that happens or not, it is clear that the taxpayers will be screwed as a result of this shambles.


  1. It's not only the taxpayers who are screwed but also the local residents. The 'regeneration' proclaimed by the mayor and the LDA is just a farce. It is destruction of local communities. Example: The LDA have submitted a planning application for the demolition of the local park on Major Road, E15 to build a Gypsy/Traveller site to re-house the Travellers from Clays Lane. The proposal is demonstrably and strongly opposed by the ward councillors, Community Links Centre, and all the local residents and Travellers.

    The proposal takes away valuable and rare open green space from the local community and the Travellers and fails to accord with national, regional or Newham policy for the preservation of open green space. The suggestions of relocated facilities do not justify the removal of extensive green space and in themselves are potentially damaging to the only other existing free open green space in the area. Newham is already ranked among the lowest of the London boroughs for green space per head. Any additional green space within the Olympic site is unsubstantiated, too far to benefit the Major Road Park local residents, and will not increase green space per head of population due to the proposed 50,000 increase in residents in the borough by 2020.

    The LDA claim that the proposal has been drawn up in discussion with Newham Council. This proposal will have a permanent damaging impact on the existing communities in terms of permanent loss of amenity ie loss of free open green space in the locality, will discourage investment, is not environmentally sustainable, goes against central, London and Newham policy and will damage the links between the Traveller and settled communities.

  2. If I doubled guessed the snippet I saw in a paper whilst turning a page it appears Lord Coe now also has a job with FIFA.

    Presumably this is to allow him an exit from the 2012 mess by taking over from Blatter at some point and thus ensuring that England gets a world cup at some point in the next 20 years.

    Well, it might be a way to balance the books on the the Olympic stadium it it was also used for the majority of matches in a world cup tournament.

    Better still the stadium might be completed by the time the football games arrive.

    I don't suppose that Livingstone could be expected to make up the shortfall from his personal funds could he?


    A shame. It would have been amusing to see.

  3. Just a PS to say that the front page format here looks a little odd Ken.

    Thought you might like to know. Loks like a frames re-sizing and positioning thing.