Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Saturday, 7 June 2003

Scottish Parliament building costs escalate - again!

It seems the estimated final cost of building the new Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh has gone up by £37 million to a new total of £375 million. In the Scotland Bill/Act in 1997 the cost was initially estimated to be £40 million.

Prior to the recent Scottish Parliament elections, held in May, the former Presiding Officer (Lord Steel), stated that the total estimated cost at that time contained a margin to cover any future cost escalation, "down to the desks, chairs and light fittings", and would not rise further from its then estimated cost of £338 million (I don't have a link for this - I watched a television interview in which Lord Steel said this and a number of other things).

Now the Scotsman alleges that the latest increase was known prior to the election, and suppressed because it was feared it would affect the outcome of the election.

This is what I suspected all along, but to say so would have seemed like some kind of paranoid fantasy - if it turns out to be true then both the Labour and Liberal Democrat Parties will have a lot of explaining to do. They were the two major components of the so-called 'Scottish Constitutional Convention' prior to the devolution referendum in 1997, which drew up the framework for devolution. All connected are now desperately trying to distance themselves from responsibility for the financial forecasts - one wonders whether Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians are so cavalier when spending their own money, rather than our taxes.

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