Supplementary business rates for large-scale infrastructure and transport projects, says Alistair Darling
Large-scale infrastructure projects such as crossrail are poised to receive financial support from new business taxes.
Chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling is expected to pledge his support today for the introduction of supplementary business rates to fund infrastructure and transport projects.
The idea was first mooted in the Lyons Inquiry, published in March, which suggested the funding model could be used to bankroll the £10bn crossrail project.
Under the plans, local authorities would have the powers to levy regional businesses on the basis of their property values. The revenue would go towards funding specific infrastructure projects.
The Lyons Inquiry recommended that any infrastructure project funded or part-funded by the supplementary tax would need to prove its usefulness to the business community.
The plans have been slammed by business lobbying group the Institute of Directors.
Miles Templeman, IOD director general, said: "These changes are a serious concern for the UK business community and a threat to the UK's competitiveness internationally. Even a small increase in rates could see businesses slip into the red and force the closure of many viable enterprises, damaging local communities."
Darling is expected to signal his support for the supplementary rates this week, but will put plans out to consultation with the industry before they are made law.