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Olympics 2012 - rising Cost to Londoners
23-11-2006, 02:14 PM
Post: #1
Olympics 2012 - rising Cost to Londoners

I just wondered whether anyone has an opinion on this.

The cost of hosting the 2012 Olympics has risen to an an estimated £5 billion - far in excess of the original budget proposed at the time of the bid. It would seem that the original budget was based a series of assumptions - and poor ones at that.

For example, it was assumed by the Olympic organisers that they would not have to pay VAT on the costs. Not surprisingly, the Treasury are having none of that and are insisting that that VAT will be charged.

It was also assumed by the Olympic committee that they would be able to buy land at the same price as it was just over a year ago - before London had won the Olympic bid. Did they really think that prices for the land would stay the same once everyone knew that London had won the right to host the 2012 Olympics?

The upshot is that the cost of hosting the Olympics has increased by over half the original estimate - and payment for this increased amount will be funded by an increased council Tax for all Londoners of £20 per year. For the next 20 years!

According to Ken Livingstone, this equates to approximately 38p per week for the next 20 years. The equivalent of 1 Walnet Whip each week. OK, but what if you don't like Walnut Whips?

Anyone got any views? In the light of this recent debacle are you pleased that London is hosting the 2012 Olympic or not?
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23-11-2006, 03:30 PM
Post: #2
Olympics 2012 - rising Cost to Londoners
I wondered when this one would come up.

Being in the trade so to speak (as a construction cost manager on infrastructure projects) I'm all for it. In fact my company bid for the overall delivery of the 2012 but were pipped by some outfit from Denver (as opposed to my lot in San Francisco) I mean, who on earth has heard of CH2M Hill (do I sound bitter).

The only negative I see is that it will mean that Crossrail almost certainly wont go ahead until after the Olympics. However, the timing is perfect with Wembley, CTRL and Heathrow T5 coming to a close it will provide secure employment opportunities for along time (Consider the works to be done even after the games)

I think the VAT thing is ludicrous. I mean the Games are being paid out of government funds (ignoring the tax payers input for a moment) and the government get the VAT right...so it's circular right? In fact it gives the contractors all an opportunity to make money out of the VAT either by dodgey trading or interest on accruals sitting in bank accounts. So AFAIC drop the VAT

Land prices have been climbing like crazy in the Stratford area due to other things like the improved transportation, connections with Europe with the CTRL, Stratford City Development, East London Corridor regeneration etc etc. So I think the error here was probably in capping the escalation as at the time of the bid. I'm pretty sure that they would have included for future escalation but maybe they thought the government might step in with Compusary Purchase deals.

All the old 'It'll be another Wembley' is a load of old tosh. Wembley was mis-managed, mis-budgeted, mis-scheduled from the outset IMHO. Multiplex were a new Aussie based firm who had never built anything in the UK. They were like lambs to the slaughter when it came to British construction contracting.

I assume they employed British staff but from what I know they were pretty much all agency staff so no vested interest other than to potter along taking the money. They also don’t have the sort of tools and processes in place that the established Project Managers have. Anyway, enough about that crock of roo-poo.

It’s a shame that the 2012 is a London Olympics and not a British Olympics encompassing England Scotland Wales and N Ireland as I think that would have united the Nations and people. But we have what we have and I think it will be a great legacy for London and as long as we leave some of the facilities after the event it should provide the UK with what we lack, World class training facilities.

I say bring it on. For once my tax is going on something other than tanks, guns and helicopters etc..
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23-11-2006, 04:25 PM
Post: #3
Olympics 2012 - rising Cost to Londoners
The whole Olympic bid thing doesn't bother me personally one way or the other. Its great that the UK have won it for a national morale point of view, but not so great for the Londoners who will have to fork out an extra £20 a month for 20 years to pay for it. But I can see the reason why. If there are any benefits to be had from hosting the Olypmics, Londoners will benefit most from them. It will be Londoners who gain the benefits of an improved infrastructure, it'll be London house prices which will rise because of it, and Londoners who will benefit from the additional employment opportunities available between now and the actual event.

And when it comes down to it, £20 per month doesn't seem like much to pay. But actually there are some Londoners for whom £20 per month might be a struggle. Some elderly people live on a pension of as little as £275 per month. This sudden announcement of a £20 increase in Council Tax will be a real pinch for them.

And I notice that - once the Olympics are under way, and the Government coffers are bouyed up by the increased revenue the Londoners money has made possible - there is no talk of a rebate for those people.

Londoners were not asked whether or not they wanted the Olympics in their City. They were not asked whether or not they were prepared to be the host. And I'll bet there are some people who will struggle because of it.

Although there are bound to be many benefits, when you look at it from that point of view, it does seem a little unfair.
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23-11-2006, 05:09 PM
Post: #4
Olympics 2012 - rising Cost to Londoners
Oh don't get me wrong... I think the governments decision to tax all and sundry is appauling. Personally I think it's time the IOC held the purse and got all the participating countries to contribute based upon their GDP.

I think that would stop the costs spiralling on each succesive event. Most expensive doesn't always mean best (I know that's a hard concept for women to grasp but it is true)
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23-11-2006, 05:32 PM
Post: #5
Olympics 2012 - rising Cost to Londoners
Slipper Wrote:Being in the trade so to speak (as a construction cost manager on infrastructure projects) I'm all for it. In fact my company bid for the overall delivery of the 2012 but were pipped by some outfit from Denver (as opposed to my lot in San Francisco) I mean, who on earth has heard of CH2M Hill (do I sound bitter).

Big Grin Jack Lemley threw all his toys out of the pram didn't he Big Grin

Quote:The only negative I see is that it will mean that Crossrail almost certainly wont go ahead until after the Olympics. However, the timing is perfect with Wembley, CTRL and Heathrow T5 coming to a close it will provide secure employment opportunities for along time (Consider the works to be done even after the games)

Yeah, from an industry point of view it's great news. I think Crossrail would have been delayed no matter what - it's the perennial victim of govt dithering.

Quote:All the old 'It'll be another Wembley' is a load of old tosh. Wembley was mis-managed, mis-budgeted, mis-scheduled from the outset IMHO. Multiplex were a new Aussie based firm who had never built anything in the UK. They were like lambs to the slaughter when it came to British construction contracting.

I've a sneaking feeling that Multiplex will get their pound of flesh from the FA. But I agree that the carping about Wembley is irrelevant to the Olympics. Especially seeing as how they've now got the Emirates team for the main stadium.

Quote:I say bring it on. For once my tax is going on something other than tanks, guns and helicopters etc..

Amen to that!

Mick Smile
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23-11-2006, 06:23 PM
Post: #6
Olympics 2012 - rising Cost to Londoners
Slipper Wrote:Oh don't get me wrong... I think the governments decision to tax all and sundry is appauling. Personally I think it's time the IOC held the purse and got all the participating countries to contribute based upon their GDP.

I think that would stop the costs spiralling on each succesive event. Most expensive doesn't always mean best (I know that's a hard concept for women to grasp but it is true)

Agree with that wholeheartedly. The Montreal Olympics (1976)were phenomenally expensive (the people of that City are still paying for it and will do for years to come), but despite the massive cost and investment, it was a shambles. Many of the buildings are leaking and not functioning properly, and some of them are now not in use.

I heard a snippet of a radio programme about this yesterday. The Canadians didn't win any medals during the Montreal Olypmics and that drastically affected national morale and support for the Games. People weren't interested and to this day, many of them are bitter about the fact that they are still paying for it. Better hope we win something then!

Its a nice idea to have a combined Olmpics involved Cities in England, Scotland and Wales. I don't know why that isn't feasible. Certainly, not all of the games will take place in London, will they? The Sailing and stuff I think is happening in Southampton, and I thought some other events were taking part in Manchester. I dunno.
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29-11-2006, 08:42 AM
Post: #7
Olympics 2012 - rising Cost to Londoners
The sailing events will be in the Weymouth area...the venue is already pretty much in place as it has ben a centre for sailing excellence for a few years now. :thumbsup:

The thing with the Olympics is that no country has every really made a profit from it so, since it's over here, I doubt very much the UK will...I would be suprised, given much of the loop holes in our laws surrounding construction, if the project is even completed on time let alone anywhere close to being on budget.

I am a huge fan of the Olympics and am looking forward to being the host nation but sometimes feel such large sums of money could be better spent on Hospitals and Schools...the other thing to remember is it isn't just the construction of the venues that costs...one of the biggest expenditures will be security esspecially since we aren't that popular on the world sage at the moment and are catching the good old American sense of paranoia! :blink:

In the long run the state of the art facilities being developed will, hopefully, be used to increase our athletes chances of success and provide inspiration for others to take up sports which, in the ideal world, lead to a healthy society on the whole. :mellow:

[Image: animated_shark184f200.gif] [Image: AniDive.gif][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][SIZE="5"]Eeek! [/SIZE][/FONT][Image: yachtsink.gif] [SIZE="5"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Don't panic...I'll save you...oh dear![/FONT] [/SIZE]
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29-11-2006, 10:11 AM
Post: #8
Olympics 2012 - rising Cost to Londoners
Coastie Wrote:The sailing events will be in the Weymouth area...the venue is already pretty much in place as it has ben a centre for sailing excellence for a few years now. :thumbsup:

The thing with the Olympics is that no country has every really made a profit from it so, since it's over here, I doubt very much the UK will...I would be suprised, given much of the loop holes in our laws surrounding construction, if the project is even completed on time let alone anywhere close to being on budget.

I am a huge fan of the Olympics and am looking forward to being the host nation but sometimes feel such large sums of money could be better spent on Hospitals and Schools...the other thing to remember is it isn't just the construction of the venues that costs...one of the biggest expenditures will be security esspecially since we aren't that popular on the world sage at the moment and are catching the good old American sense of paranoia! :blink:

In the long run the state of the art facilities being developed will, hopefully, be used to increase our athletes chances of success and provide inspiration for others to take up sports which, in the ideal world, lead to a healthy society on the whole. :mellow:

Only the Sailing and the Football are using venues outsid of London/M25ish

Personally I think this is a bit of a shame however, London doesn't actually have many international class facilities believe it or not. When you consider watersports at Holmepierpoint in Nottingham, Athletics in Manchester and Tyneside, cycling in Manchester (do you notice the pattern that North and Midlands benefitted from the Commonwealth Games and Grand Prix events). I think that Crystal Palace is the only proper multi sports facility and I think the only location in London with an Olympic standard pool and diving facility but it was built 42 years ago!!

Why should everything make a profit. The country will benefit in it's self esteem and confidence. We will have facilities we otherwise wouldn't have. We will become united in spirit if even only for one month. Remember Euro '96 and the flags?? Look at how the cities who have hosted the Commonwealths have increased their confidence and profile.

On Time - On Budget....Mmmm My Companies mantra (But then we didn't get the bleedin' job....However, watch this space as I believe we'll be drafted in to get it done in the end. The budget thing is a bit daft. Especially the VAT bill. And as long as Ken is kept at arms length and told to role over on occassion the bred tape should be fairly easy to cut through.

I think one does need to consider though that it is a facility for AN event and that a lot of the really permanent infrastructure issues needed to be addressed outwith of the Olympics and would have needed to be spent anyway. These should be deducted from the 'Olympic' costs and considered as a cities investment in it's own regeneration. Look at Barcelona. The Montjuic district and it's transport systems were dead before the Olympics. But they would have had to have done something at some stage anyway.

Spending the money on hospitals and schools..Well as I said before, it aint guns and tanks. I think this is really an issue for the voting public. What was the percentage of voting adults who DID vote? Do you actively approach your MP or county council banging the table about these investments or do you come on MB's and carp on about the immorallity of it all. I think I know the answer to that one.....Look at the stats re General and Local elections. If you are active then perhaps you should encourage others...Look I'm as guilty as the next person about some of this (I DO Vote) but it has become an Notional pastime of complaining to the wind.

Security....Oh do me a favour. As long as we don't go all American on ourselves it won't be that much of a burden on the budget. Hosting G8 is probably more expensive in reallity.

In the run up children are going to be stimulated by this thing called sport. They are going to get interested in various sports that they never thought they would find interesting (My stimuli was the Munich whitewater canoeing) I went on to become a very competent and competitive paddler (I don't go with this Kayaking thing). Who knows, my youngets might get into Volleyball. Who cares as long as they become aware of sport as fun and healthy rather than something they make you do on wet wednesdays at 2pm.....That is the real investment
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29-11-2006, 01:31 PM
Post: #9
Olympics 2012 - rising Cost to Londoners
:laugh: I do moan at my MP's Slip! :w00t: I moaned, in writing, and at a forum, with regards to the millions being flushed away on the building of the Portsmouth Spinnaker Tower...it was supposed to have been finished by the millenniumm...it opened this year still incomplete as the lift doesn't work properly...it wasn't...it was supposed to have cost X amount of money...it is already double that!

Yes it stands proudly in Portsmouth harbour and has received allot of attention but it will only last a very limited number of years as the construction is iffy to say the least and will barely pay for itself in the long run...obviously wasn't your lot Slip...and anyway...I see local hospitals closing and schools struggling to get teachers and new text books and technology and I wonder wouldn't the 1000+ million have been better spent on those issues? :bored:

This project more than any other has made me pessimistic towards such grand ventures in this country.

I hope my pessimism is blown into oblivion as I do, like I have said, love the Olympics and will certainly be looking to attend some of the events...:boxing:

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02-12-2006, 08:58 AM
Post: #10
Olympics 2012 - rising Cost to Londoners
I used to live near Cardiff and they have started to break everything up. It's been a big hassel as by making this olympic village loads of shops and the library have been moved. It's so confusing. At the moment all of it seems a waste of time.
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