Jowell says Olympic budget will stay on track

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The Independent Online

Tessa Jowell, the Olympics minister, has insisted the 2012 games in London will stay inside their 9.3bn budget.

Despite speculation that the cost of could rise again, Ms Jowell told MPs: "The project has high levels of support and is on track." She released detailed costings that concluded that the budget already four times the original estimate was adequate.

They include a fund of 2.3 bn set aside for emergency spending in such areas as security. Ms Jowell said: "Months of careful scrutiny have confirmed the Olympic Delivery Authority has the money it needs to deliver the venues and infrastructure for a terrific summer of sport, as well as leaving a long-term legacy for one of the most deprived parts of the country." She said 2008 would be a dramatic year, with the start of major building work.

Hugh Robertson, shadow Olympics minister, said the costing was a "welcome initial baseline but falls short of the full and open budget we're seeking".