Labour would pledge £30 billion to local economies as part of an “economic devolution” plan to be announced by Ed Miliband today.
The money would be distributed by taking revenue and business rates and handing them to city and county authorities.
The plan was a key recommendation in Lord Adonis’ report, Mending the Fractured Economy, and will be unveiled today in Leeds.
The trade body, the EEF, welcomed the proposal, but expressed some concerns.
The extra cash would be used to invest in local business support units, such as the Local Enterprise Partnerships. Funds would also go towards housing, transport, education and adult skills.
A spokesperson from the EEF said:
“There will also be a financial impact and business will want to know whether it will be targeted to raise some of this revenue through additional taxation. Above all else businesses want consistency and certainty, so that current policies to promote growth and investment such as export support from UKTI, R&D tax credits and support for innovation through the TSB are not reduced.”
The plan comes as part of a Labour business charm offensive, which has also seen shadow Chancellor Ed Balls promising to “redress the systematic bias in favour of debt finance.”
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