'Serious doubts' on Enterprise Zones

The government's plan for Enterprise Zones to boost local economies is expensive and unlikely to stimulate sustained growth in depressed areas, the Work Foundation will say today.

Details of the scheme to offer tax breaks and localised incentives to stimulate investment are expected to be outlined in the Budget next month. But the think-tank's analysis of past efforts estimates a cost of £50,000 per job created, and warns that up to 80 per cent of positions created are displaced from elsewhere. "Looking at Enterprise Zones created in the 1980s, there are serious doubts about the wisdom of bringing the policy back."

Andrew Sissons, a Work Foundation researcher, said. "Most of the areas that had such zones are still struggling today."

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