Benefits of Regional Growth Fund will be dwarfed by the damage of spending cuts

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date: 29 June 2010

embargo: For immediate release

Commenting on the launch today (Tuesday) of a £1 billion Regional Growth Fund for areas particularly affected by public spending cuts, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'While any extra investment is welcome, this £1 billion fund needs to be set against the £73 billion of cuts the Government is planning.

'Only a fundamental rethink of the Government's approach to deficit reduction will avoid the joblessness and desperation which will emerge in the areas they claim to be helping.'

Commenting on plans to abolish Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), Brendan Barber said:

'RDAs have a proven track record of supporting regional economies, with every £1 invested creating £4.50 in the wider economy.

'Replacing them with a variety of local partnerships poses a real risk at a time when strong regional leadership is needed to meet the challenges of supporting the recovery and rebalancing our economy.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- The Government's announcement can be found at http://nds.coi.gov.uk/content/Detail.aspx?ReleaseID=414110&NewsAreaID=2

- The Government-commissioned evaluation of RDAs is available www.bis.gov.uk/rdaevaluation

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

- Congress 2010 will be held at the Manchester Central Convention Complex from Monday
13 September to Thursday 16 September. Free media passes can be obtained by visiting www.tuc.org.uk/congress/tuc-18063-f0.cfm and returning a form. Applications must be in by noon on Monday 6 September. Any received later than that will be processed in Manchester and will cost £50.

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: media@tuc.org.uk
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: rholdsworth@tuc.org.uk

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