Commenting upon Crossrail and the use of a Supplementary Business Rate for part of the funding David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“It is excellent news that Crossrail has been given the go-ahead, it is a unique project of crucial importance not only to London but to the future competitiveness of the UK economy.

 

“In the relation to the Supplementary Business Rate for Crossrail it must be recognised that the scheme is extraordinary, being 20 years in the planning with costs that have risen substantially. London business groups and the Corporation of London have agreed with the Government on behalf of larger businesses a funding package that recognises this.

 

“A Supplementary Business Rate (SBR) for Crossrail must not however lead to local councils across the country bringing in this extra tax without a business vote. The BCC is opposed to the principle of SBRs, which will be an extra burden on businesses that are competing in the face of enormous global competitive pressures.

 

“If Local Authorities are going to be given the flexibility to introduce an SBR, it is essential that businesses are given a vote. The SBR must also be for a major infrastructure project that business believes is necessary such as transport, have a clear project plan with ring-fenced funds tied to the scheme and be wholly additional money.”