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London 2012 budget under control, says ODA chairman

The 2012 London Olympics will come in on time and within budget, says the man charged with making sure it does. In an interview with the Guardian earlier this week, Sir Roy McNulty, acting chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) rejected claims that the budget, currently, set at £9.3 billon, would continue to rise. He suggested that final construction costs would probably come in under budget and said the trebling of the original £2.4bn estimate was probably “realistic”. Detractors have warned of possible final costs of £15bn, but Sir Roy said there would be “pressure to deliver value for money throughout the whole exercise”. The Government has been heavily criticised for its £2.7bn contingency fund, described as “breathtakingly ridiculous” by Ken Livingstone, the London Mayor. He said its existence would encourage contractors to inflate costs in the belief that there was an inexhaustible pot of Olympic gold. Sir Roy disagreed. “I do not think the construction industry sees it like that. We expect there will be vigorous competition for most of the contracts. “It isn't a big book of blank cheques just waiting for us to use. I think there is a very high likelihood we will live within the £9.3bn figure,” he concluded.