Friday, August 13, 2010

$387m Budget Understates Cost of YOG to Singapore Society

It has been widely reported that the original $104m budget for the YOG ballooned to a massive $387m. These are the direct financial costs of the YOG. However, the following are a few hidden costs of the YOG that, if we were to estimate and put a monetary value on them, could significantly blow up the total cost of the YOG to Singapore Society as a whole.

Firstly, if we were to calculate and add the monetary value of the thousands of man-hours of unpaid forced labour that Secondary, JC and Polytechnic students, as well as their teachers, have to contribute to the YOG, that would add a significant sum to the YOG black hole.

Secondly, consider the opportunity cost of the time spent by these students in the YOG, which they could have spent studying or other productive activity. Some students' grades will definitely suffer because of the time they have to spend on this event. This cost of the YOG has obviously not been factored in.

Thirdly, consider the additional transport/living costs that students have to take because they have to vacate their dormitaries and live somewhere else, and/or have to travel further to school or travel to the YOG facilities & locations to support the YOG. For example, Darren, an NTU undergraduate, "now has to travel some two and a half hours each day, to get to his university campus located at the western end of Singapore." The additional transportation & living costs to Darren and hundreds of others have not been factored into the YOG budget.

Fourthly, what about the cost of upgrading the food catering for the YOG volunteers? After the uproar on the internet about the 'dog' food being provided to the YOG volunteers, the YOG committee is reported to be looking into upgrading the catering. Is the cost of this upgrading factored into the $387m?

Fifth, how about the inconvenience to the public from the designation of lanes along seven expressways and 15 arterial roads for the YOG games? Motorists have to give way to Olympic vehicles on major transportation routes. Did anybody factor in the cost of this inconvenience to motorists?

Finally, Did the YOG committee factor in all these free tickets that are being given away at the last minute into the revised budget? If not, isn't the last minute dishing out of these free tickets going to send the YOG even more into the red? See, for example, this article:

Civil Service Club offering FREE YOG tickets for closing ceremony
August 13th, 2010 | Author: Your Correspondent

Contrary to reports in the mainstream media that tickets for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) are being “snapped” up fast by “enthusiastic” Singaporeans, there are still quite a number of unsold tickets for the games and closing ceremony though the Ministry of Education (MOE) has purchased 80,000 of the 100,000 tickets on sale using taxpayers’ monies.

As expected, the unsold tickets were being “distributed” to various statutory boards and grassroots organizations to increase the attendance for the YOG.

One of them is the Civil Service Club, which will be giving out 400 FREE tickets to the YOG closing ceremony to its members

These are just some of the hidden externalities and unanticipated hickups in the YOG that potentially amount to significant hidden and additional costs that I am sure have not been accounted for in the already busted $387m YOG budget.

If you have any more in mind, let me know please.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When the general public have to struggle with their three meals, roofs over their heads and having problems finding jobs. HOW CAN THEY AFFORD THE MONEY AND MOOD TO PARTICIPATE IN SILLY EVENTS AND PROGRAMMES.