I have today put out a story on Byline Times some damning findings by the National Audit Office on the refurbishment of the Elizabeth Tower and the Big Ben bell and clock face. You can read it in full here.
The report is important because the government is committed to spending billions of pounds – a £4 billion estimate will go nowhere near the real cost – -refurbishing the Palace of Westminster over a decade.
This project was a tiddler compared to that – originally thought to cost £29 million -now 80 million. And if Parliament’s managers can’t properly manage that – what great mess awaits us over the next decade.
The report also reveals one extraordinary fact which shows that the Victorians were as bad at controlling taxpayer’s money and managing big projects as we are today.
The present building built after fire destroyed most of the old Parliament in 1834 was completed 18 years behind schedule and at three times the original cost.
Effectively the governments of Robert Peel and Lord Palmerson were no better at controlling budgets than those of David Cameron and Boris Johnson today. Plus ca change etc.