The government has offered businesses in the City of London a multimillion-pound subsidy in business rates to sweeten a last-ditch funding deal to pay for Crossrail. The Sunday Telegraph. The Observer
A £7m-£10m annual rate support grant has been offered to the City of London to try to encourage it to pay the extra £250m needed to fund the £12bn scheme. The offer emerged in last-minute talks this weekend to try to find the cash.
All the capital’s businesses over a certain size are expected to be asked to pay an extra 4% on their business rates to help fund the scheme. But three areas – Heathrow, the City of London and Canary Wharf – have been asked for extra cash to fill a funding gap, as they are expected to benefit most from the project.
While both Canary Wharf and Heathrow’s owner, baa, are understood to have agreed the extra payment, the City of London, which represents businesses in the Square Mile, is understood to have dug in its heels.
Sources said that if agreement were not reached this weekend it could make it impossible to include provision for Crossrail in the Comprehensive Spending Review, due in October, which could result in a three-year delay to the scheme.