Miliband Offers U.K. Regions More Control Over Spending

Ed Miliband, the leader of the U.K.’s opposition Labour Party, will pledge to double the amount of central-government money controlled by regional bodies in an effort to help cities outside London grow.

In a speech in Birmingham today, Miliband will promise that local councils and universities will control at least 4 billion pounds ($6.6 billion) of funding a year. They’ll be able to invest directly in infrastructure projects including transport and housing.

“We need a prosperous London, but we also need to build prosperity outside it,” Miliband will say, according to his office. “Today, every region outside London is below the national average when it comes to productivity, while London is 40 percent above it.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said last night the economic recovery showed Miliband is losing the political argument, with record-low interest rates encouraging investment.

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