Chancellor under fire over grant phase out

Chancellor under fire over grant phase out
Political correspondent Chancellor Gordon Brown is facing stiff opposition from both MPs and business over plans to phase out the regional aid and other business support budgets that have helped attract dozens of electronics companies to England. The Treasury is looking to scale back the cash available from the Department of Trade and Industry to attract inward investment. The ?130m Regional Selective Assistance budget is a particular target. But MPs from the north of England – where it has been vital in bringing in high-tech firms such as Samsung, Siemens, Fujitsu – are outraged, especially as the Scottish and Welsh budgets to be controlled by their new devolved assemblies are unaffected. And Adair Turner, the director general of the Confederation of British Industry has written to Gordon Brown urging caution. He told the Chancellor that the savings that could be made are small but the impact they have in bringing high-tech firms to regions of high-unemployment such as the north was enormous.


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