Cutting investment in London’s transport system would be “a body blow to the UK’s recovery” Boris Johnson told top business figures today.
Addressing the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on Thursday morning, the Mayor repeated previous calls for investment in the capital’s transport infrastructure to be “protected” from spending cuts being imposed by the new coalition Government.
The Mayor said: “London is the economic powerhouse of the UK and our economic recovery and global competitiveness will be devastated if we fail to invest in our transport infrastructure. London needs both an upgraded Tube and Crossrail. Cutting investment in London’s transport network is a false economy and will be a body blow to the UK’s recovery – the longer it takes to upgrade the Tube and deliver Crossrail the more it will cost and the less competitive our great city will be.”
Today’s comments from Mayor Johnson follows last month’s publication of a GLA Economics report which warned that, if the capital is to continue to produce tax receipts which are then distributed around the UK, future allocations of public investment should “take account of the potential for public expenditure allocations to deliver higher output and tax income.”
Business leaders have also warned against scaling back Crossrail. In June London First Chief Executive Baroness Jo Valentine warned that significant cuts could jeopardise support for the scheme within London’s business community.
Earlier this week the Mayor’s policy director called for City Hall to have “more power over taxation” to prevent the Mayor having to go “cap in hand to central government, both for money and permission” for new projects and initiatives.