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MPs: Public ‘misled’ on Olympics construction costs

The government misled the public over the cost of the London Olympics, MPs have claimed.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) criticised the government’s initial estimate of £4 billion and said its budget was "entirely unrealistic", it was reported.

Chairman of the PAC, Mike Leigh said ministers had underestimated the cost to increase support for London’s bid. He said it "ignored foreseeable major factors such as contingency provision, tax obligations, and policing and wider security requirements".

The budget for the development has reached £9.375 billion, a figure that the government hopes to partly reclaim through the sale of newly built commercial property, when the games have ended.

Tessa Jowell, Olympics minister, said: "There was categorically no motive to put in a bid that was anything other than based on the most accurate forecasts and the best intentions."

Olympic Delivery Authority chief executive David Higgin added that 75 per cent of spending on the site was helping with the regeneration of west London.

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