Seven years late and £32 billion over budget.

These are gloomy statistics but perhaps not unexpected.

They refer to the HS2 rail line planned from London to Birmingham and beyond.

Yet again the taxpayer will be expected to pay the bill.

You will have your own views about the ambitious scheme that will cut the London to Birmingham rail journey by 28 minutes but all of us must be concerned by the time delay and the overspend.

It raises many questions that should concern all of us.

Here they are.

Was the scheme properly costed in the first place?

Has the company HS2 Ltd been properly managed or monitored?

Is there a cavalier attitude to any project paid for out of the public purse?

Was initial research into the project properly undertaken?

The last question is asked because we now hear that one reason for pushing up the costs is that ground conditions were found to be more challenging than predicted.

On part of the route ground turns to porridge when it rains.

If so these problems should have been identified before the scheme received the go-ahead.

Overspend on big projects is nothing new.

Cross Rail is three years late and £3 billion over budget.

The Channel Tunnel was over budget by 80 per cent and the cost of the Jubilee Line almost doubled the original estimate.

We all know of course that the budget for our beloved Concorde soared and soared.

I am not saying these projects should not be undertaken but am asking for more efficiency all round.

The public purse is not bottomless but it seems to be treated as such.

Simple lessons in housekeeping are needed.

My mum could have given some.

Three of us were at grammar school and dad was earning the minimum agricultural wage, plus £1 per week.

We never seemed poor and were rich in so many ways.

Our lords and masters should sharpen up their act and stop taking us all for granted.

Mr Grant Shapps, the transport secretary is now showing some wisdom.

“There is no point in obscuring the true cost of a large infrastructure project” says Grant.

Has at least one lesson been learned?