Government Clears Way For Crossrail
Allowing local authorities to levy supplementary business rates to cover cost
Proposals to allow local authorities to levy supplementary business rates to cover the cost of one-off infrastructure and economic regeneration projects such as Crossrail have been met with anger from business organizations and opposition parties.
The plans were announced as part of the Chancellor’s 2007 Pre-Budget Report which included a series of measures to invest in key schemes to transform the capital’s public services.
Included in the report was the announcement that the Government intends to allow local authorities to charge a supplementary business rate of 2p in the pound in order to fund projects.
The Chancellor believes that business would not be unduly burdened by such charges because the levy would be capped at 2p and would not apply to premises with a rateable value of less than £50,000. However, business organisations argue that the measures stipulated are not enough to protect businesses from local authorities eager to raise additional revenues.
Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement, the Minister for London,
Tessa Jowell, said, "I believe that the Government's long-term spending plans have benefited greatly from advice and expertise from local authorities, the Greater London Authority, the London Mayor and other key delivery agencies."
October 12, 2007