Dispelling the smoke and mirrors-- to get at the facts and figures
Long standing critic of the tram project management and finances John Carson has set out yet more worrying facts in a letter to the Scotsman newspaper today (June 24th 2013) showing how the already enormous financial black hole into which the city has been plunged may not even be the final word.
Mr Carson has not only been a consistent critic of the project but has been proved consistently right.
Years ago when Council officials were parroting 'On Time and on Budget' even as the project was hurtling out of control, he was pointing out that it was impossible to complete, unless huge amounts of money were to be thrown at it, amounts so large that they couldn't ever be justified.
He forecast years back now, that eventually the project would have a total cost of over £1 Billion, well over; if it was ever completed at all.
As we now see, it HAS cost over £1 Billion even though it has not been completed .... not as originally planned!!
But even this double whammy of financial ineptitude that has seen the city reach the top of the watch list for Councils in financial crisis in Scotland may not be the end of it as Mr Carson outlines in his letter.
All thoughts of 'operating profits' trumpeted by Council reports to Councillors two years ago to get the project 'finished' have now gone, as Mr Carson predicted then, to be replaced by enormous losses stretching far into the future that will eat up not only Council cash but also profits from the Bus service.
Track record is important in when assessing predictions, John Carson thinks things will get worse, much worse, than even the Council's latest gloomy figures indicate and because he has been right on the money up to now there isn't any reason to think he has got this one wrong.