George Osborne: What I want for the East of England
- Credit: PA
Chancellor George Osborne sets out what he hopes to achieve for the East of England with Wednesday's Spending Review.
We promised people from the East of England that we'd put security first.
So this week, I set out a Spending Review with both economic security and national security at its heart.
It's a plan for the next five years showing how we will take difficult decisions so that the country lives within its means and brings its debts down, while making sure we deliver opportunity for all.
We'll protect and invest in the things that matter most to you: the security of strong police and defence budgets, new help to buy your own home, healthcare your family can rely on, good schools for your children and a higher state pension giving you security in retirement.
The East of England is already playing a key role in the recovery and over the last Parliament employment across the East grew by 229,000 and businesses grew by 58,700, with this strong growth ensuring that the region is right at the heart of our work to rebalance the economy.
There is always more to do, so my Spending Review and Autumn Statement set out the next stage of our plans to power up the East of England.
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The first step is about going further than ever to rebalance the relationship between central and local government.
We will end councils' dependency on Whitehall by giving them unprecedented control over their own money, giving them the power to drive the growth of business in their area – and reaping the rewards that come when they do so.
The second step is about helping businesses to grow and create jobs. We'll do that through major investment in transport with £475 million for your local major transport projects so local leaders can bid for funding for schemes, such as the Lowestoft 3rd and Ipswich Wet Dock Crossing, and today I confirmed new funding for air routes across England including from Norwich.
But it's about more than transport and connectivity.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of the East of England economy and so we'll help almost 70,000 small businesses in the East with lower business rates, saving an average of £810 thanks to the extension of the small business rate relief until April 2017.
We'll also help businesses by creating growth and jobs in new enterprise zones in New Anglia, Cambridge and Luton.
It is vital that we back the area's strengths and in addition to the £6.9bn national science capital commitment, we are going to invest £75m to unlock the £300m investment that will transform the University of Cambridgeshire's Cavendish Laboratories.
Papworth Hospital will benefit from a £500m fund for new hospitals which is part of our major commitment to health spending in this Spending Review, following our recent £350m investment to create world-class public health labs in Harlow.
There will also be a new National College for Creative and Cultural Industries which will be based in Essex and, as part of our £1.2bn investment to ensure a Queen Elizabeth Class Carrier is able to deploy with 24 jets on board from 2023, the new F35 will be based at RAF Marham in Norfolk.
We have made difficult decisions since 2010 and this region has made great progress. Over the next five years, let's work together to build the security that provides the foundations for everything we want to achieve.