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Ed Miliband: We'll devolve funding control to regions

ED MILIBAND pledged yesterday that a Labour government would deliver control of £30 billion of funding to local authorities and regions.

The Labour leader endorsed key features of a policy review by Lord Adonis aimed at tackling chronic regional imbalances and boosting business.

Over £30bn of funding would be devolved to existing local authorities, new combined authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships during the five-year term of a Labour government.

This would include funding for housing, transport, business support, employment and adult skills.

Control over business rates revenue would be handed to new city and county regions which would come together in combined authorities.

Mr Miliband rejected calls for a major programme of central government spending to boost Britain’s economy.

He told his audience in Leeds: “The global financial crisis represented a moment when the tide went out and the rocks hidden beneath were exposed.

“These problems began long before the crash and will not be solved simply by the belated end of the recession.

“Our response must be to grow the wealth of our country — not by big spending — but by big reform of our economy.

“It is a One Nation vision.

“If we are to create the wealth of the future and solve the cost of living crisis, we must help create high-quality private-sector jobs not just in one part of Britain, but in every part of Britain.”

Addressing the same meeting, Blairite Lord Adonis declared: “My overriding aim is to promote a smarter, not a more expensive, state.

“We need to build on the best of Britain and be optimistic that the best is yet to come.”


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