Sunday, April 29, 2007

Let the Games Begin

But, they already have. The financial games to cover up the costs of the Olympics:

The Government has been accused of covering up a £1 billion "black hole" in the finances for the London Olympic Games when Britain submitted its bid.

Ministerial aides were told by accountants - two months before the bid's submission and 10 months before the capital knew it had been chosen to host the Games - that the estimated bill for the Olympics of £3.4 billion was significantly short of the mark.

The consultants warned aides in September 2004 that the bill was going to be £1 billion more then expected, taking it to at least £4.4 billion. In the event, even that figure proved hopelessly overoptimistic, with the revised bill mushrooming by March this year to £9.35 billion - nearly four times the original £2.4 billion estimate.

....The revelations are embarrassing to Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, who is poised to take over as prime minister from Tony Blair. When London submitted its bid, he portrayed himself as gatekeeper for the Games, saying the Government would act as "ultimate guarantor" of their final cost.

George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, accused the Government and Chancellor of "trying to cover their tracks". He said: "These startling revelations raise more questions about Gordon Brown's integrity and competence. It's taxpayers who are going to pay the price."

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