Chuka Umunna MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, responding to Nick Clegg’s announcement on the Regional Growth Fund, said:
“The Government has failed to get growth going in the regions and has held areas back. This funding won’t be paid out until the end of the Parliament but businesses need real help now. The Regional Growth Fund has created far more losers than winners.”
“It was also confirmed today that only a quarter of the fifty successful bidders under round one of the Regional Growth Fund have received their money, despite the winners being announced almost eight months ago in April. Last week, the Government confirmed that they do not expect to complete the due diligence process for round one until the end of March 2012 – almost a year after the winners were initially unveiled.”
“We need leadership and urgency from ministers, but instead we have seen dither, delay and uncertainty demonstrating how out of touch they have become from the needs of businesses up and down the country.
“Labour’s five point plan for jobs and growth would help get growth going now by temporarily reversing January’s damaging VAT hike and introducing a one year national insurance tax break for small firms taking on extra workers.”