London Mayor in final plea to spare Crossrail from cuts

Aaron Morby 13 years ago
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London Mayor Boris Johnson has delivered a final plea to Chancellor George Osborne not to slash Crossrail spending ahead of next week’s emergency Budget.

In a letter to the Chancellor, the Mayor also called for greater tax raising powers to fund other major capital projects like the London Underground and giant Battersea Power Station project.

His comments come as research commissioned by the Greater London Assembly revealed that London generates around 18% of the nation’s output and tax revenues but receives 14% of Government spending.

Johnson said: “The UK cannot afford the cost to the economy if the capital is starved of vital investment in infrastructure projects like Crossrail and the upgrade of the Tube.”

He urged the Chancellor to open the way for Tax Increment Funding which would allow projects to be funded through higher business rates.

“The case for the capital to have greater fiscal independence should now be investigated thoroughly,” wrote Johnson.

“A clear statement of these principles in the Budget, backed by action, would help to restore international business confidence in London,” he added.

His letter also called for sufficient funding to deliver 50,000 affordable homes by 2012 and the rationalisation of environmental funds to convert them into “loans and incentives for private sector investment in environmental initiatives”.

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