By Claire West

Speaking at the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced new powers to allow councils to boost growth in towns and cities.

"The Government is committed to rebalancing the economy. In particular, it is determined to remove barriers and provide focused support to ensure that all places can realise their growth potential."

In his keynote address, Nick Clegg said the Government will introduce Tax Increment Financing powers, which will allow local authorities to borrow against locally raised business rates.

This will give councils access to the resources necessary to support investment and unlock growth.

Commenting on his speech Richard Lambert, CBI Director-General, said:

“Mr Clegg was going for hearts and minds so he explained why the coalition and the spending cuts were necessary. And he set out a vision of the promised land in 2015 if all goes to plan.

“What he didn’t do was explain that this vision will depend on business growth to create the new jobs needed to get the economy into shape. But then this was a speech about politics, not economics.”