I have warned on numerous occasions on this site about the dangers of an overrun of the Olympics "budget", eg in April 2008 I wrote the following:
"The government received a damning blow to its reputation for "financial competence" (I use that phrase with heavy irony) yesterday, when the Public Accounts Committee accused it of "wishful thinking" over the "budget" (an exaggerated term for the back of an envelope calculations) prepared by those "in charge" of the London 2012 Olympics.
The Committee warned that taxpayers may well have to pay more than the current £12BN (including £2BN running costs) estimated for the games."
It seems that others are finally waking up to the dangers of an overspend on the "movable feast" of the Olympics budget.
A report criticising a number of key aspects of the organisation of Olympics (including its budget), compiled by the National Audit Office over the last year, has been published today.
The Washington Post quotes Amyas Morse, the head of the National Audit Office:
"The government is confident that there is money available to meet known risks, but, in my view, the likelihood that the games can still be funded within the existing 9.3 billion-pound public sector funding package is so finely balanced that there is a real risk more money will be needed.”
Unfortunately, the NAO has its figures wrong. It has ignored the £2BN running costs, which put the current "budget" at £12BN.
Not a great start!
Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics
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