The government announced yesterday that the cost of hosting the 2012 Olympics has soared to £9.3bn. Or rather it turns out that the initial estimate of £2.4bn was very wrong, and this new estimate is much more realistic. But if you look at how this £9.3bn is broken down, you'll see that the cost of actually putting on the Olympics (£3.1bn) hasn't gone up much. It's all the associated expenditure which is having a financial impact.
£3.1bn Site construction (all the various stadia and stuff) [47%] £1.7bn Regeneration and infrastructure (Stratford's a contaminated dump) [26%] £0.8bn Olympic Delivery Authority tax bill (Gordon has to take his cut) [13%] £0.6bn Extra security (because it only takes one nutter...) [9%] £0.4bn Non-ODA provision (whatever that is) [6%] Expected Total = £6.6bn
+£2.7bn Programme contingency (because things always cost more) [+40% of the above] Potential Total = £9.3bn
Yes, £9.3bn is a lot of money. It's £155 for every man, woman and child in the country. It's £1.25 each every week until the Opening Ceremony. But it's still a lot cheaper than buying a daily paper, or watching Sky TV, or going to the pub once a month, or feeding a dog, so it's not that terrible. Because, whatever people might hope, investment in the future doesn't come for free. And, believe me, those of us who live around the spot where London's three most deprived boroughs meet, we'll be eternally grateful.