City of London grandee and Crossrail champion Sir Michael Snyder has become the latest high-profile name to criticise the controversial Crossrail levy.
The levy, which would be implemented in the Masyor's new London plan and is designed to raise an extra £200m to build the rail line, will prevent commercial development in London, the former chairman of the City of London Corporation’s policy and resources committee said.
Snyder, who negotiated the City’s separate contribution to the costs of building the link, said the City of London was in negotiations with Mayor of London Boris Johnson to find an alternative to the levy to raise the funds.
He said: ‘I have got to say that, in terms of getting development to start in a downturn, it is not going to be possible. The City of London is working very closely with the Mayor to find a solution.
‘I am sympathetic to the Mayor’s view that he has got to raise the money but we know what we have got now won’t work.’
Snyder, a Common Councilman of the City of London Corporation and senior partner at accountancy firm Kingston Smith, was speaking at the launch of the Professional Services Global Competitiveness Group report on Monday this week.
RICS president Peter Goodacre and City minister Paul Myners also spoke at the launch of the report, which looks at future challenges for the professional services sector.
The report said that the land, property and construction sector needed to address the shortage of property workers in the public sectors, particularly planners.
It also called for the promotion of property within business education, and for co-operation with government to ‘seize opportunities’ to boost the sector’s global reputation.
Paul Myner said the current global economic conditions were putting strain on the professional services sector but the committee had been surprised by just how well placed the sector was to survive.
'Current global economic conditionms are taking their toll on all sectors of the economy,' he said. 'Some short term restructuring will be nbecessary to weather the storm but I am sure they will remain buoyant in the long term.'
Johnson has begun chasing levy payments including asking for a £20m levy at Land Securities' 1.4m sq ft Victoria Transport Interchange scheme.