The Daily Telegraph has revealed further, hidden costs to the taxpayer of high-speed rail. Now council taxpayers who live along the proposed route will be expected to cough up even more for the white elephant. With each family in the UK already paying well over £1,000 for the benefit of a privileged minority, this will come as an unpleasant surprise.
Information hidden in the fine print of a Department for Transport document released last week reveals that contributions would be expectd from those ‘parties who would benefit directly from opportunities and development.’ Businesses and developers could also be expected to chip in.
Taxpayers in Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham and other settlements along the route can expect to be hit with higher Council Tax bills as local authorities attempt to find the extra money. The project was originally expected to be funded entirely from central government tax receipts.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance has continually drawn attention to the flawed business case for HS2 and its hidden costs which will make the final bill at least £17 billion higher than the government claims. As our research has demonstrated, HS2 assumes average business passenger income of £70,000 and relies on a 27 per cent over inflation rise in fares – both of which are unrealistic.
As our chief executive Matthew Sinclair said last week, ‘the HS2 business case just isn’t credible and ministers aren’t being honest about the hidden costs or flawed projections that the project is based on.’