As part of ConservativeHome’s Parliamentary/ Assembly coverage a Conservative member of the Greater London Assembly will be filing weekly reports. Richard Barnes AM writes the first report on Olympics cost over-runs.
"At the London Assembly Plenary this week, we had the opportunity to question the key players delivering the 2012 Olympics.
The past week has not been good for the Games, as previously stated budgets have started to spiral upwards. I felt sorry for David Higgins and John Armitt of the Olympic Delivery Authority, who had to defend the doubling in cost of both the aquatics centre and the main stadium. These two gentlemen are experts in their field and are doing their best under tough conditions.
As many of you will know the original cost submitted to the IOC when we bid to host the 2012 Olympics was £2.4 billion. That cost has now increased to a staggering £9billion. The blame for this major jump must be laid at the feet of the government. They failed to take into account basic factors such as inflation of construction costs and VAT. Those tasked with delivering the two week event have admitted that the bid book wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. And our erstwhile Labour Mayor has failed to guarantee any protection for London taxpayers in regard to overspends. I hope the Olympics is a success, and I hope it comes in on budget. My fear is that Londoners and the rest of the UK taxpayer has been sold a bum deal which we and the next generation will be paying for way into the future."