Bick welcomes Chancellor's commitment to tax sharing plan

December 5, 2013 2:39 PM

Tim BickCambridge City Council leader, Tim Bick has welcomed the government's commitment to an innovative gain sharing scheme which would unlock £1 billion for housing and transport

Under the scheme the Treasury would plough some of the increase in national tax revenues coming from the growth in Greater Cambridge into housing and transport in the area.

The innovative scheme would be implemented as part of the Greater Cambridge City Deal allowing investment in infrastructure and see Cambridge City Council sharing some funding and powers with South Cambs District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council.

Chancellor, George Osborne reported in his Autumn Statement today (Thursday, December 5) that the government was committed to the idea which would allow Greater Cambridge to hold onto a share of taxes generated from future growth. Details will be announced by the government in next year's Budget.

"Cambridge is a fantastic success story but can become a victim of its own success if we can't build more homes that people can afford and alleviate congestion. This is equally important to individuals and employers. We have argued to the government that the cost of not addressing this is a withering local economy and the erosion of the area's treasured character. The price of avoiding it is the kind of investment programme which a City Deal could unlock.

"Our proposition to government has been audacious and if we win it, almost unique. But Cambridge does make a major contribution to the British economy and competes on the international stage. There is clearly some more negotiating to be done and we don't intend to sign a deal that doesn't represent the area's best interests. But today's commitment is a major milestone, hard worked for all round and we are delighted to hear it."

MP Julian Huppert said: "This is excellent news for Cambridge and the Greater Cambridge area. We get to keep some of the taxes generated by the growth in our area to benefit the people and businesses there.

"This will give us much needed investment for housing and transport infrastructure to drive Cambridge forward and build on its success."

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