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Hidden costs behind Holyrood exposed as projected price soars

The Scottish Executive has been forced to reveal the hidden details of the cost escalation on RMJM's Holyrood parliament building.

The new statistics, which help explain the jump from the original estimate of £40 million to the latest £400 million price-tag, reveal how small parts of the project have increased dramatically.

The figures were produced only after the parliament's finance committee demanded an explanation for the cost debacle. Examples include the frame of the debating chamber, the centrepiece of Enric Miralles' original plans, which should have set Scotland's taxpayers back £14.7 million but is now projected to cost £34.4 million.

Also revealed in the 'Trade Package Comparisons' are problems with the scheme's foyer and glazing, which were originally estimated at £1.5 million but could now cost as much as £7.3 million, and the bay windows, which have jumped by nearly £2 million from £1.5 million to £3.4 million.

However, the parliament's presiding officer, George Reid, refused to apportion blame, insisting that the project is now on track. 'Our consultants have now produced the latest projected costs based on the new programme information we received last month, ' he said.

'The programme is moving along swiftly and we expect to see parties opening discussions about the allocation of office space in the coming weeks.'

RMJM was unavailable for comment.

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