Boris Johnson taps business for 4.1bn of Crossrail funds

MAYOR Boris Johnson yesterday outlined details of his plans to tap London firms to fund the Crossrail scheme, under which around half of the total tax revenue will be met by businesses on the City, Canary Wharf and Westminster patch.<br /><br />The plans state that from April 2010, an initial levy of 2p in the pound will apply to all business properties with a rateable value of over &pound;50,000, generating around &pound;4.1bn of funding towards the &pound;15.9bn scheme.<br /><br />Around half of the total will be contributed by businesses in the City, Canary Wharf and Westminster, where the majority of jobs created by the scheme will be located.<br /><br />Johnson was adamant yesterday that Crossrail would be delivered by 2017 as planned, despite recent hints that the Conservatives might attempt to delay the scheme if a Tory government comes to power. &ldquo;Despite the economic climate it is essential that we do not allow our investment in the future to falter,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />The Department for Transport will also stump up &pound;5.6bn towards Crossrail, including a &pound;230m contribution from airport operator BAA and &pound;150m of additional funding from London businesses. Separately, the Canary Wharf Group has agreed to contribute &pound;150m to the cost of the Isle of Dogs station.