Page last updated at 18:46 GMT, Monday, 24 May 2010 19:46 UK

London 2012 Olympic Games budget cut by 27m

The Olympic Stadium (graphic)
The government said the cuts should not affect the Olympic programme

The government has announced that £27m is to be cut from the 2012 London Olympic budget.

The decision is part of the £6.2bn of savings in public spending announced by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition on Monday.

The cutback affects the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), which is the body building the venues.

The previous Labour government had said the £9.325bn budget for the 2012 Games in east London was ring-fenced.

Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of state for culture, media and sport, told the bodies the savings should not interrupt the Olympic programme and that "frontline services" should be protected.

We are on schedule and within budget with savings of around £600m already delivered to keep us on track
John Armitt, ODA

And Sports and Olympics minister Hugh Robertson said it was right the London 2012 budget should "share the pain" of the spending cuts.

He said: "We have the worst economic crisis faced by any incoming government in recent times and we are trying to achieve a balance.

"Against that backdrop it is probably right that the Olympics share some of the pain but in a way that will not put at risk the greater good of the project."

The main savings are intended to come from cutting administration costs and restrictions on recruitment and pay.

'Sound economic footing'

ODA chairman John Armitt said he was sure the savings could be made without affecting the programme.

He said: "Due to strong financial management and cost control to date, the project is on a sound economic footing and I am confident that the ODA will be able to save £27m from our budget this year.

"This saving will be found by continuing to make efficiencies in the way the project is delivered as we have already done in the past.

"This is possible due to the efficient way that the project has been managed.

"Our regular budget updates have consistently shown that we are on schedule and within budget with savings of around £600m already delivered to keep us on track."

Former Olympics minister Tessa Jowell said: "When Labour handed over office at the general election, the Olympic project was on budget and on time.

"In every area, savings were constantly identified which have enabled us to manage risks efficiently and effectively."

She added: "It is important that the £27m cuts to the Olympic budget announced today are clearly specified without delay so we can be reassured there is no risk to London's ability to host a successful games."

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