July 11 - A report from the British Columbia Government has revealed that final spending on the Olympics and Paralympics in Vancouver earlier this year was $925 million (£596 million), substantially above the $600 million (£387 million) originally budgeted, critics have claimed.

The final report show that the Province’s cost at $765 million (£493 million) to stage the Games in Vancouver and Whistler, including $165 million (£106 million) for security.

Another $160 million (£103 million) was spent on activities such as hosting events, advertising, marketing and promoting tourism.

The Federal Government paid the $1 billion (£644 million) price tag to provide security and also contributed to venue costs.

British Columbia's Finance Minister Colin Hansen claimed that the Province had to deal with unprecedented situations that led to increased costs.

He said: "The global economic turmoil was something no one would have anticipated."

Hansen also pointed to the unusually warm weather during the Games.

Vanoucer 2010's chief financial officer John McLaughlin claimed that the global recession, which started in the autumn of 2008, hit organisers hard especially on the expenses side.

"The Conference Board [of Canada] said that because of the Games and the economic activity generated by the Games it helped get Canada through the recession much quicker," McLaughlin said.

"We did do a lot of internal budgets that reflected the new realities.

"We were projecting then and we’re projecting now that we will have a balanced budget."

But Maureen Bader, the British Columbia director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, called for a full disclosure of all Olympic-related costs.

"This chump-change cost estimate is an insult to the taxpayers of British Columbia because it doesn't include the Olympic-sized spending blowout on projects promised in the original bid," said Bader.

"We know the Convention Centre, the Canada Line and the Sea-to-Sky Highway upgrade together cost almost $4 billion (£2.5 billion).

"It's time the Government admitted these were Olympic costs and give taxpayers a full account of the Games."

She said the report also leaves out additional Olympic-related costs such as those for Crown corporation tickets and paid "volunteers."

But Hansen defended the Government from accusations it misled taxpayers on the true cost of the Games.

"When I hear people say that we have always promised that the Games would be funded from a $600 million (£387 million) envelope, that is not actually what we said," insisted Hansen.

"What we said [about] that initial $600 million (£387 million) envelope was that it was to cover a specific list of items."

He said the items were those that were promised to the International Olympic Committee at the time of the 2010 bid.

"We did go over because of the added security costs by an additional amount that took us up to the $765 million (£493 million) total," Hansen said.

"We have always been clear that there are other things that we would do to leverage the Games."

According to the report, the original $600-million (£387 million) budget included $290 million (£187 million) for British Columbia's share in venue construction.

It also included a $55 million (£35 million) venue operations endowment fund, $36.1 million (£23.2 million) on First Nations and municipal legacies, $25 million (£16 million) to Vancouver 2010 for contingency reserve, $19.6 million (£12.6 million) for Games live sites and $16.6 million (£10.7 million) for "2010 Games wind-up obligations."

The biggest chunk of the $160 million (£103 million) leveraging fund was $47.6 million (£30.6 million) to pay for the Olympic and Paralympic Games secretariat.

Other costs included $38 million (£24.5 million) for tourism promotion, $15.4 million (£9.9 million) for the Robson Square celebration site and $14.4 million (£9.2 million) for "Games-time celebrations."