Public misled over London Olympics budget

The Olympics and controversy are by now happy bedfellows, but the Chinese authorities will be breathing a sigh of relief as the latest Olympic story has nothing to do with Beijing 2008. A parliamentary report has found that the British government misled both the public and parliament over the size of the budget for the London 2012 Olympics.

The budget for the games was originally set at £4bn in 2005 but has now jumped to £9.3bn. The Public Accounts Committee report states that the original estimate was far short of the realistic figure. The PAC is a group of cross-party MPs which assesses how taxpayers' money is spent.

The report's findings will be an embarrassment for two of the London games biggest supporters: the Olympics minister Tessa Jowell and the mayor of London Ken Livingstone. There have also been claims that the original costs were downplayed during the bidding process to ensure the support of the public and then chancellor Gordon Brown.

According to the PAC report the original budget for London 2012 had no contingency plan to cover any possible overspending, the amount of money given to security was minimal and there was no allowance made for inflation or VAT.

In response the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Olympic Delivery Authority has claimed that they've got it right this time and the revised budget will not be exceeded, but that's exactly what they said last time.

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