G8 Summit: “Of course, the event did not come for free…”

As the BBC reports, the Northern Ireland Finance Minister, the DUP’s Sammy Wilson, has revised, upwards, his estimate of the cost of the recent G8 Summit in Fermanagh.  Here’s the relevant extract from Hansard

There has been much focus on the cost of the G8 event.  The most important thing is that we successfully delivered a safe and secure event, and, for that, I give my sincere thanks to the PSNI.

Of course, the event did not come for free, and, although the UK Government picked up the majority of the costs, the Executive provided some funding in the June monitoring round.  The estimated G8 policing and security-related costs now stand at approximately £75 million.  However, the UK Government have agreed to cover some £60 million of those costs.  That leaves a balance of £14·5 million, which the Executive agreed to allocate to DOJ.  In addition to the policing and security-related costs, there were some costs registered by Departments, including DETI, DRD and Health.  Those amounted to some £5·1 million and funded road improvements around Enniskillen, a publicity campaign to maximise the economic benefits of the event and pressures on the Ambulance Service and the Fire and Rescue Service.

That now-£19.6million bill is somewhat different from the minister’s pre-summit estimate of the cost to the NI Executive, which was a mere £6million…

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  • JR

    I have my doubts as to the tourist benefits this will bring. I was at a meeting last week in Berlin at Potsdamer Platz. The German delegation were telling me that Barack Obama had been staying across the road the previous week and that there had been tight security. I mentioned that it had been the same over here when he had been with us, along with Angela Merkel for the G8. None of the 6 Germans had known about it.

    How many of you can tell me which countries obama, or Putin or Angela Merkel have visited since they were here?

  • Drumlins Rock

    Obama was in South Africa, reminded me how beautiful it is there, must consider it for a winter break…

    At leastr your German friends know about it now! glad you were able to use it as an opening to promote NI.

    I wonder how much of the other 60 million was spent here, as well as that spent by the media. I suspect a small profit could be shown, before any longer term benefits come about.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    There were a few German businessmen in Belfast last week.

    They had their car torched though.

    I can neither confirm nor deny that it was because they had Southern registration plates when parked in a Loyalist area…

    Does the G8 really serve as a great showcase for the location?
    Usually there’s a few shots of nice scenery then it all gets rolled over by scenes of heavy security or the drivel of the day.
    Gleneagles is gorgeous, but I don’t recall being blown away when it was the host.

    I can’t even remember the places it has been since then much less wish to visit them.

  • Mick Fealty

    The money guys… Nearly 20 mill more than previously stated?

  • Son of Strongbow

    Governments do seem to have a recurring issue with the control of budgets. Should it be IT systems, departmental reorganisations or capital expenditure.

    Perhaps the accounting systems are not up to the job? Or when ideas are introduced is there mischievous low spend projections to make the project, whatever it may be, more publicly palatable?

  • nilehenri

    The money guys… Nearly 20 mill more than previously stated?

    tbh i’m more surprised that you’re shocked mr fealty. #sammysums

  • You guys got it cheap. Canada hosted the G8 and G20 last year. Total security costs were1 billion dollars.

  • The Raven

    Yeah but Joe…look at the country of nutters you live next to. And you with that big border too…

  • Mick Fealty

    Shocked? Not me.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hello The Raven, I know you must think that the posting is just funny, but with U.S. men and women (not services, not spooks) being raped and killed in Egypt it just has a wee tinge of “cool” racism.

    The individual American you meet in Norn Iron may not necessarily agree that U.S. policy is a good thing. I keep noticing how there is a lot of agression against U.S. visitors, who are usually treated as types and not as people.

    And, good grief, everything over-runs in costs as all budgets are just guesses (some informed, some not) and any are not pegged usually run over. the Budget is just a paper that needs discussion at the inceptive meetings, so that the committee decisions appear to be “informed.” But it’s really good value for money if you think that hosting top level Trough Feeders is an important thing to do.

  • thethoughtfulone

    When it was announced, some one of the “better” news providers (think it may have been C4 this time but not sure) done a bit of research in to past venues of the G8 and matched up the dates of the summits themselves with officially available tourism figures. In no case did they find any evidence whatsoever of any improvement in visitors numbers either short term or longer term following any previous summits anywhere.

    Sadly not one of our “hard hitting” journalists over here seemed to be aware of this or even went to the bother of doing the same thing themselves thus Arlene, Peter, Marty, and numerous others were consistently able to get away with feeding us a constant flow of absolute drivel about how good this would be for all of us.

    Here we are a fortnight later and what about it, nothing left but the bill. But of-course by the time the “official” figures come out proving that the whole thing was a complete waste of money nobody will give a flying one anyway so nobody will get hung on it and anyone who dares mention it’s economic failure will be casually brushed to the side by some snide belittling remark from Arlene about spoilers and negative thinkers and then she’ll get on with espousing the virtues of their latest money spinning “good for Northern Ireland” cause.

    Meanwhile, shops will continue to close, more people will abandon their houses to the banks, the debts of those banks will mount, rate arrears will continue to soar, and the waiting times at A&E’s will continue to increase.

    Against all of that, does it REALLY matter whether the amount wasted was 6 or 19.6?