Labour leader Ed Miliband has pledged to deliver the “biggest devolution of economic power for generations” if he wins the upcoming election.
At a meeting of Labour’s new English Regional Shadow Cabinet Committee in Milton Keynes today, Mr Miliband is expected to discuss his party’s policy on English devolution.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said Labour plan to devolve £30billion of funding over five years - including money for transport, housing and employment - to England’s city and county councils.
Mr Balls said: “Labour’s economic plan is about ensuring every part of the country and all working people can benefit from economic recovery, not just a few.
“This means backing the cities, towns and regions of our country which are the engines of growth and job creation.
“Local areas will be in the driving seat on key decisions affecting their local economies – with new powers over back-to-work schemes, to drive house building, and to integrate, invest in and plan transport infrastructure.”
But Iain Stewart, Conservative MP for Milton Keynes South, does not believe regional devolution outweighs the importance of English votes on English laws.
Mr Stewart said: “This government is already setting in place devolution within England’s regions but that does not change the need for English Votes on English Laws as there will always be England-wide issues that Scottish MPs should not vote on.
“Ed Miliband is desperately trying to spin the argument to regional devolution but there is a clear demand for English Votes particularly when Scotland, Wales and Northen Ireland are getting more and more powers.”