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And now for something completely different

So, the security budget is being slashed by £125M. Plus the security budget is being increased by £280M. Perhaps the underlying logic is a smaller state combined with greater opportunities outsourced to private corporations? Oh, and of course there are tax concessions too!

Of course the 2010 Winter Games really raised the bar on security costs. Perhaps there'll be more clarity on that together with the rest of the Vancouver overspend later this week?

Update: buried elsewhere in the Graun:

• The budget for policing the Olympics in 2012 has been unexpectedly slashed from £600m to £475m. The money will still be made available, but ministers believe it can be done more cheaply. The prime minister's spokesman said: "We think that it's possible to be more efficient in many public services. On that specific one we think it is possible to do things more cheaply. The full £600m remains available if it is necessary."

Given the cluster of 'poorest councils' surrounding the 2012 zone, doubtless they've got a contingency fund on top of that.

Update 2: Tessa May speaking at Home Affairs Select Committee, Tues 14th December 2010 c12:25 makes it sound as though that 'slashing' is very much aspirational, and seemed very keen to stress that the budget could return to the original £600M if necessary.

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