You know how it is when you build something new. A new kitchen, or a new conservatory, or a new extension, or something. You get a quote in from the builders and they give you a reasonably tolerable estimate. But when the project's finally completed it always ends up having cost you far more. There were all those unforeseen extras and unexpected delays and sudden price hikes, and the final total is always unpleasantly astronomical. But the new kitchen's a great improvement on the old, and the new conservatory becomes a much-loved place to sit, and the new extension is well worth the effort in the end. If we never built anything because it might cost more than we expected, we'd never build anything. Even if it sometimes does turn out a bit rubbish and leaves us in debt, it's always worth a try.
The increasing cost of the London Olympics £3.4bn Original cost outlined in Olympic Bid £0.3bn Unexpected VAT bill courtesy of EU regulation £1.3bn Big number added by UK media to bring original total up to a scarily round five billion £3bn Installation of ten million extra CCTV cameras throughout south-east England to prevent unexpected terrorist attack £0.7bn Erection of electric security barricade around fifty acres of duck-infested marshland £1bn 'Cash-for-Olympic-honours' slush fund £0.036bn Ken Livingstone's holiday fund £1.2bn Cost of redesigning the stadium after David Cameron refuses to sanction Gordon Brown's chosen design £0.4bn Projected losses after government Obesity Tsar Jamie Oliver enforces "healthy-only" Olympic refreshment policy £0.2bn Bureaucratic uplift created by over-excessive health and safety legislation £0.2bn Bureaucratic uplift created by over-excessive quality assurance procedures £1bn Accumulated losses when 24992 spectators' seats are left empty once Leyton Orient take over the main stadium in 2013 £0.9bn Erection of 20-foot tall gold statue of Tony Blair in Stratford High Street £0.8bn Contingency fund for construction of extra arena in case the IOC suddenly decide to reintroduce naked mud wrestling as an Olympic sport £0.5bn Spurious Daily Mail addition attributed to "migrant workers" £1.4bn Cost of building 5000 affordable homes throughout the Thames Gateway £1.3bn Cost of building 50000 affordable homes in marginal constituencies elsewhere throughout the UK, renamed "Thames Gateway Gateway" £0.08bn Cost of sending Tessa Jowell on monthly roadtrips to try to persuade northerners that the Olympics really will be beneficial for them, honest £1.50 Six-pack of green glowsticks to liven up the Olympic opening ceremony 27p Box of matches to light Olympic torch £0.5bn Amount of working time lost over the next five years by Olympic pessimists ringing up talk radio and shouting "You know how many NHS nurses we could get for this money, don't you?" £0.5bn Amount of working time lost over the next five years by Olympic pessimists leaving comments on internet talkboards reading "And who will be paying for this fiasco, eh? The British taxpayer, that's who!" £20bn Long-term regeneration benefits to some of Britain'spoorestboroughs