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Employment Growth Strategy

Volume 523: debated on Thursday 17 February 2011

21. What his Department’s strategy for employment growth is for areas that have a high proportion of public sector employment. (41362)

The Government’s overriding economic policy objective is to bring about strong, balanced and sustainable growth. The growth review will support private sector growth, providing jobs to people released from the public sector. The regional growth fund will focus on providing financial support to areas with weak private sectors, and we will announce the first allocation of funds shortly.

I thank the Secretary of State for that answer. If the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is the Department of growth, then the Department for Communities and Local Government must be the Department for cuts. If we treat communities—or individuals—who are unequal as equal, we reinforce inequality. I welcome many of the measures that have been announced, but they are national measures. Are any special measures in place for communities that suffered from the front-loading of the cuts as a result of the local government settlement?

I know that my hon. Friend has worked extremely hard for the community he represents, which is a deprived area with relatively high unemployment. We would hope that specific tailored measures will come from the Leeds city region local enterprise partnership, which covers that area. The funding announcement on the regional growth fund is imminent, and it is often forgotten that, as a result of our negotiations with the banks, the business growth fund has an additional £2.5 billion, which will support private sector development across the country, including in my hon. Friend’s area.