Fool's gold: British taxpayer is Olympics' biggest loser?
Sadly for the British taxpayer, such pro-Olympics economic propaganda represents the triumph of hope over experience, as both London 2012 and past Olympics perfectly illustrate.
For the 2012 Games, London originally estimated total costs at $4.7 billion. Within two years, the official estimate had risen to $15 billion, more than triple the cost at the time of the 2005 bid. As significant private funding never materialized, $15 billion in British taxpayer money was hurriedly allocated to pay for these Olympics.
With the UK National Audit Office revealing that private-sector funding now constitutes less than two percent of the Olympic budget, the UK parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has predicted total costs around $18 billion. Worse still, an analysis by the Sky Sports TV network, which included the costs of upgrading public transportation, now puts the cost of the Olympics at a staggering $38.5 billion!
This financial calamity should not come as a surprise. Ballooning budgets and debt burdens are always the most likely Olympic outcome.
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