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Labour to set out stall on 'big reform' for economy after election in 2015

AN ambitious plan to decentralise power across Britain through "big reform, not big spending" will be endorsed by Ed Miliband today as he and his colleagues seek to convince voters that Labour can best manage the post-recession economy.

In Leeds, the Labour leader will publish the review by ex-minister Lord Adonis and endorse plans to devolve £30bn of Whitehall funding, handing control over full revenue from business rates to powerful new city and county regions, which would come together in combined authorities across England.

Yesterday, Ed Balls began a week of major economic policy announcements by setting out plans to keep corporation tax low while slashing business rates to boost small firms. He insisted Labour would be "pro-business but not pro business-as-usual".

The Shadow Chancellor made clear a Labour government would not keep the further Coalition cut in corporation tax planned for next year but would cut and freeze business rates for more than 1.5m business properties.

"The purpose of a competitive tax system must be that companies view Britain as a great place to do business, not simply a cheap place to shift their profits," he said.

On Thursday, Mr Miliband will give a keynote speech when he is due to set out Labour's pre-election pitch in a bid to convince voters he and his colleagues are best placed to manage Britain's economy in a fairer and more efficient way.

The Labour leadership will try to get back on the front foot after it had to deny a major rift at the top after reports at the weekend suggested Jon Cruddas, the Opposition's policy chief, complained that a "dead hand" at Labour's heart was blocking reforms.

Today, Mr Miliband will promise to overcome Britain's long-standing economic problems, which existed long before the 2008 crash.

He will say: "It is a One Nation vision. If we are to create the wealth of the future and solve the cost of living crisis, we must help create high-quality private-sector jobs not just in one part of Britain, but in every part of Britain."

The Labour leader will note how eight out of 10 new private sector jobs since 2010 have been created in London and will endorse a proposal in the Adonis Review to devolve £30bn of funding away from Whitehall to cities and regions.

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