Government watchdog criticises 2012 costs

24 Apr 2008

By: Sport Industry Group

The National Audit Office (NAO), the government’s watchdog for financial affairs, has warned that the constant budgetary shifts for the London 2012 Olympics is a ‘major risk’ to the project’s success.

After evaluating the figures for London 2012, the NAO declared that more public funding would be required to meet the rising budget and stated that the ‘worrying situation must be dealt with as a matter of urgency’.

The 2012 organisers were criticised last week in a MPs report which stated that the Games should not rely on National Lottery and increased taxes to fund the increasing budget demands.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has called on the Treasury to increase its financial commitment to the Games but the NAO stated that more public funding would be the only way forward.

The original public funding package includes £2.375bn from the public sector and £1.044bn the government is providing towards the costs of infrastructure on the site of the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London.

The public funding package includes £1.5bn of Lottery funds, £625m from London council taxpayers and £250m from the London Development Agency.

The NAO report concludes: ‘A major risk is the lack of final agreed cost estimates and an accompanying funding package, and this will inevitably have a detrimental impact on the programme if it is allowed to continue.’