18 November, 2006

Olympian overspend.

Continuing the occasional series celebrating the Herculean over-spending, over-taxing, over-budget extravaganza that is the 2012 London Olympics.

At a total cost of £5bn, the project is already about £1.6bn over the original budget of about £3.4bn (not £5bn over-budget, as I mistakenly wrote yesterday, for which apologies), a shortfall ministers have met by raiding National Lottery funds intended for charities, the arts, heritage projects and sports. As the Daily Telegraph reports, the Mayor of London is refusing to raise Council Tax to pay for the overspend and the Treasury is definitely not going to bail out the project. So, ministers are going to raid the Lottery again.

Last night well-placed Treasury sources ruled out any bailout from general taxation.

"Put it this way – we are not putting up taxes," one source said.

A final budget is not now expected until crisis talks between the Treasury, Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Olympic Delivery Authority are concluded in the New Year.
I think that is "final" as in the sense of the last until the next crisis.

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