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Crossrail must deliver on its promises (4 June 2010)

As the Government seeks to cut the deficit, London First, the influential business organisation, is emphasising that London business agreed to pay for Crossrail through the supplementary rate on the basis of it being delivered to specification on time.

Short term savings made from spending cuts will also cut the economic benefits of the line delivered in full, which will increase UK GDP by £31bn and create an extra 30,000 jobs which would otherwise not have existed.

Baroness Jo Valentine is Chief Executive of London First, which represents many of the London’s leading private sector employers. She said:

“Crossrail is a critical investment in London and the UK’s future – substantial economic benefits will flow from Crossrail beyond London’s boundaries and to the rest of the UK. Although the costs of Crossrail are far outweighed by its benefits, London’s businesses have come together to shoulder much of the burden. They are putting their wallet behind their rhetoric.

“We must, of course, continue to drive efficiency savings whilst maintaining the increases in capacity and opportunity this scheme offers. But the deal with the Government for the business community to contribute a large part of the costs was always contingent on the project delivering on its promises. If business is not consulted, or the scheme becomes unrecognisable, don’t count on continued business support.”

ENDS

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