The TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) this morning reacted to the consultation launched on HS2. An earlier research note looked at the flaws in the business case and forthcoming research will investigate claims that the scheme will create jobs. This press release highlights the incredible cost to taxpayers.
The cost to taxpayers of just the first stage of the HS2 project is formidable. The Government expect the first stage from London to Birmingham to cost £17 billion and the full project around £30 billion:
- £17 billion is equivalent to well over £600 per family. The full £30 billion project will be well over £1,000 per family.
- Just the debt interest on the Government borrowing to finance a £17 billion project would cost well over £700 million a year. That is nearly enough to finance the £800 million cost of taking 1p off the main rate of corporation tax in 2012-13.
- In the case of the full £30 billion project the same figure would be £1.3 billion a year.
Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"With so much pressure on the budgets of families and businesses, it is utterly indefensible that the Government is planning on spending such an incredible amount of money on this project. There are more affordable ways of getting the capacity needed and a high speed line for the rich, on a route already served by very quick trains, can't be the priority over giving ordinary families and firms across the country a better deal. HS2 should be cancelled."