الثلاثاء , مايو 18 2021

Labour in £30bn local funding plan

Ed MilibandLabour’s plans are about “big reform”, according to party leader Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband has said Labour would transfer £30bn of funding from central to local government to “begin reversing a century of centralisation”.

The party is set to unveil a range of new policies, and writing in the Sunday Times Mr Miliband also said he wanted a quarter of government contracts to go to small and medium-sized firms.

Meanwhile Labour’s Jon Cruddas has been recorded calling party plans “cynical”.

Labour said Mr Miliband and Mr Cruddas shared a commitment to “radical” ideas.

Writing about the party’s plans, Mr Miliband said he would unveil a report about growth by Labour peer Lord Adonis next week.

He said the report “recommends transferring £30bn of funding to city and county regions over the course of the next parliament”.

“This is just one of many ideas he has to nurture skills, help small businesses thrive and ensure innovation flourishes,” he added.

He concluded that Labour’s plans were not about “big spending” but rather “big reform”.

‘Cynical nuggets’

Criticism of Labour’s policies have come from Mr Cruddas – a Labour MP and also co-ordinator of the party’s policy review.

In a recording of a talk he gave to the think tank Compass last weekend, he expressed frustration at what he saw as the crushing of complicated ideas about policy into pithy, media-friendly soundbites.

He said “cynical nuggets of policy” which “chime with focus groups” were being prioritised by the party over “innovation or creativity”.

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said it was not the first time Mr Cruddas had “wondered aloud” about party policy.

“He doesn’t mention Ed Miliband by name – and has praised his leadership in recent days,” our correspondent said.

“But he contrasted what he saw as the vitality of ideas he heard from activists around the country with what he called the ‘profound dead hand at the centre [of the party]’.”

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