EEF economist warns Miliband on investment in LEPs

Posted on 8 Apr 2014 by Victoria Fitzgerald

Chief economist at EEF, Ms Lee Hopley has responded to Ed Miliband's speech today, highlighting careful investment in local enterprise partnerships with proven history as imperative to economic growth.

“The principles outlined today are worthy of debate, however a key factor will be allowing LEPs to prove themselves before more funds and capabilities are devolved. Crucially we need to ensure that whatever LEPs are assessed against include a focus on genuine place-based challenges and business led solutions.”

“When it comes to choices about getting value for money from limited resource in the next spending review, the next government will need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of an incremental approach, which allows LEPs to prove themselves in a more structured way, against the challenges of a big bang devolution of funds.”

In today’s speech the Labour party leader will reveal plans to invest in cities all over the country to produces “engines of growth” by devolving new powers from Whitehall to create “quality jobs”.

Mr. Miliband will draw on recent figures from fiscal watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), referring to a break in the traditional link between a rise in earnings in line with economic growth for the next five-year Parliament.