A while ago, the Taxpayers Alliance published figures saying that HS2 will cost £1000 per family.
People who support HS2 don’t like this figure. They say it’s an oversimplification. They say it will be raised out of tax on businesses.
Sure, it is a simplified figure: the actual cost, according to Channel 4’s FactCheck blog, should be £1206, but Taxpayer’s Alliance rounded it down when they published it.
And the £33 billion that will be spent on HS2 is a simplified figure. It didn’t go up when the scope of the project was increased to include a link to HS1. Not when a link to Heathrow was added on.
That £33 billion is in 2009 prices: inflation means that the actual cost will be significantly more in the 2030s when the second phase of HS2 is supposed to be built.
(And even after spending £33 billion, HS2 will still be a long way from Scotland.)
As to raising tax on businesses rather then individual taxpayers…
When it comes to the Government spending money, they don’t distinguish between money from taxes paid by business and money from taxes paid directly by families. The more money they spend, the more tax they need to charge, and the less flexibility they have to reduce the tax take on individual families.
And even if they do take tax money from business rather then individuals, it is still paid – indirectly – by families. If taxes paid by businesses increases, those increases are passed on to the consumer through higher prices.
So don’t believe the people who try to obscure the cost of HS2.
HS2 – if it goes ahead – will cost at least £1000 per family.