He claims that Sayeeda Wasi lied when she said that AV would cost around £250 million per election, that the figure was based on the assumption that counting machines would be needed for AV elections and counting machines aren't used in Australia, where they use AV.
Let's just assume for a minute that Chris is right and Sayeeda is wrong and counting machines will not be used. I think that even in this situation it is wrong for Chris to claim that Sayeeda was knowingly lying. But putting that to one side for a moment it is interesting to look at the relative costs of elections in the UK and Australia
The 2005 UK General Election cost about £80million for 27.2 million votes cast costing £2.94 per vote. The 2007 Australian Federal elections cost $163million (£105million) for 12.7 million votes cast costing $12.83 (£8.27) per vote. Australian AV elections cost almost three times (x2.81) as much as British FPTP elections.
Now for a bit of simple maths:
£80,000,000 x 2.81 = £224,800,000
Even if we choose not to use electronic counting machines (which we have done in every non PFTP election that I've been involved in) we are still looking at a cost very close to the £250,000,000 figure that Chris Huhne was getting so angry about. I now think it's about time he apologised for likening Sayeeda to Goebbels and addressed the real concerns that many people have about the cost of AV.