London Mayor Ken Livingstone said this morning that the Treasury is pushing for the Olympic budget to include a 60% contingency fund in case of cost overruns.
Speaking at a meeting with the Greater London Assembly this morning the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) confirmed that costs had singificantly increased beyond the £2.3bn budget set in 2004 because of increased security costs, demands for more regeneration investment and possible VAT charges.However, on top of this Livingstone added that both the Treasury and ODA were pushing for a contingency fund to allow for cost overruns on projects within the Olympic Park.The ODA, said Livingstone, were pushing for the smaller contingency of 30%.'I'm not looking for any contingency,' said Livingstone.'If you have it at 60%, then everybody bidding for the contracts will know that you have a huge pot of money if they screw it up.'However, for the sake of moving forward, Livingstone, who has one of four casting votes on the Olympic board, said he would be prepared to accept a 20% contingency on top of the new budget.ODA chief executive David Higgins and acting chairman Sir Roy McNulty said earlier in the morning that the ODA was working with the Treasury on the budget, which would be revealed to the Olympic board as part of the ODA's Corporate Plan in February 2007.However, it is expected than the final budget will be confirmed one month earlier.