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Boris: Why Crossrail and the City are vital for UK economy

PUBLISHED: 16:00 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:06 05 October 2010

BORIS Johnson is demanding "no let up" in Government investment in London if the City is to remain a key contributor to Britain's economy. He told London's small businesses of the need for major projects like Crossrail to stay ahead of the world financial game

By Mike Brooke

BORIS Johnson is demanding "no let up" in Government investment in London if the City is to remain a key contributor to Britain's economy.

He told London's small businesses of the need for major projects like Crossrail to stay ahead of the world financial game.

His call comes as figures released today show London contributed between £14 billion and £19bn to the UK economy last year.

London paid much more in taxes as the financial crisis began to set in than it received in Government spending during the same period, according to a report today by the City Corporation.

The Mayor told the Federation of Small Businesses annual dinner last night: "Investment must be sustained if we are to continue making such a huge and generous contribution to the country.

"That investment must account for the dramatic population rise and workforce expansion in the coming years.

"This means continuing to press ahead with projects like Crossrail, to compete with the rest of the world."

Small businesses are the 'backbone' of London's economy, he stressed, and therefore important to the rest of the country.

He was applauded when he called for Government support for small businesses during the economic downturn to prepare them for the recovery.

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