London 2012 to Have Millions in Reserve for Unexpected Costs

By Community | February 28, 2012

The British government says more than $800 million remains in reserve for any unexpected costs at the London Olympics.

With 150 days to go until the games, 96 percent of venues and infrastructure are complete, and sports minister Hugh Robertson says the project is expected to remain within the public sector budget of $14.7 billion.

The government has given another $57 million to the organizing committee, taking the total contribution of public money to $244 million.

A security bill that has climbed to more than a billion pounds had prompted fears that taxpayers would have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for the July 27-Aug. 12 Games.

“We are now increasingly confident that we can land this on time and on budget,” Robertson told a news conference.

The budget – more than double the estimate when Britain was awarded the Games in 2005 – includes a contingency of more than half a billion pounds and Robertson does not expect to spend all of that.

“I don’t think we will quite empty the piggy bank,” said Robertson.

by Ismail Uddin