Cost of putting on London Olympics soars

March 15, 2007 at 2:28 PM

LONDON, March 15 (UPI) -- The cost of being the host for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London has tripled from the original estimate, the government admitted Thursday.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell told members of Parliament that the final bill could be as high as $18 billion, The Times of London reported. About one-third of the money is earmarked for the Olympic Stadium, Olympic Village and other facilities in East London.

The cost of providing security has risen sharply, Jowell said. Some critics argued that the actual amount could be nearly $2 billion.

Members of the Conservative and Liberal Democratic parties yelled "chaos" and "shambles" as Jowell released her figures.

Jowell said that the new estimated budget includes everything that will be needed to host the Games -- "every venue, every bridge and every facility."

The National Lottery's contribution to the Games will increase, Jowell said, along with the amount to come from the national budget.

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