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Treasury move over EU billions could hit jobs and growth

Concerns over the willingness of the Treasury to hand back funds to the EU were raised yesterday by council leaders during an evidence session of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee.

Local areas are entitled to over £1 billion worth of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) from now until the end of 2013 – but for the money to be claimed, it needs to be matched by other sources. However, over two-thirds of councils are concerned that there is not enough funding available to match-fund the remaining cash.

Whitehall has not done enough to help councils find this vital match funding. Instead, the Treasury seems willing to give the £1 billion back to Brussels in exchange for receiving less in return - around £670 million - as part of the UK Rebate (two-thirds of the amount).

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