Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls was in Stevenage this morning praising a government-backed business centre as an example for promoting economic growth.

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Mr Balls met employers at the Business and Technology Centre where 80 small and medium size businesses are based. The centre was set up with help from the East of England Regional Development Agency and Stevenage Borough Council.

Speaking to The Comet, he said the site was an example to George Osborne of how government intervention can help.

“The Labour council said we want to bring on the next generation of businesses with the regional development agency.

“This government abolished the agency. Each time I have met with local businesses in places like this that are part financed by the agency they think it is crazy to have abolished it. This is a model for business growth.

“Stevenage is hit by what’s happening across the UK. It had an 83 per cent rise in long-term youth unemployment in the last 10 months.

“The Conservatives are throwing their hands in the air – we have to redouble our efforts.”

Ahead of next month’s budget, Mr Balls recommended a one year VAT reduction as part of a package of measures to get the economy moving. This would be funded by extra borrowing.

“There would be more confidence about moving house. It would create jobs. Unless you are getting growth you can’t do it. Austerity on its own can be self-defeating. It’s not working – it’s going too far, too fast.

“I have a more balanced plan. Get a boost into the economy now.”

2 comments

  • Politicians act in a way we teach our children not to - he said she said. Why don't you just sell us your parties plans on their own merit rather than slating the opposition. Even in my line of work this is considered highly unprofessional. Ed Balls, balls to your talk on business growth. Talk is cheap. Sort out the council housing!! From single 20+ yr old working full time private renting one bed flat on own with no help from anyone except 25% off council tax... I must equate to 75% of two people then?!

    Report this comment

    Kelly

    Saturday, February 25, 2012

  • No mention, Mr Balls, that the council has added to the unemployment in Stevenage and hit council tenants with a rent increase much exceeding inflation.

    Report this comment

    patrick newman

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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