Budget 2011: George Osborne to turn deprived areas into 'Enterprise Zones'

It's not the first time the conservatives have tried this idea. Back in the 1980s Margaret Thatcher selected 38 areas across the UK that would receive special treatment for fostering business growth. This included removing taxation and regulations. Today's government will point to the Docklands, (designated an enterprise zone in 1982) as proof the Iron Lady had it right.

Now, according to Osborne; planning applications will be simplified and business rates discounted in these zones. There's also the aim of installing super-fast broadband to help web start-ups.

The chancellor explained why he wanted to bring back enterprise zones at the Conservative party conference earlier this month: "They will be centres for new businesses and new jobs where taxes will be even lower and more restrictions on growth removed.

"They will be the places in our land with great potential - but which need that extra push from government and local communities working together."

However, there is opposition to Osborne's plan and critics label the Docklands as the exception rather than the rule.

A comment posted by Peter Johnston in response to a Real Business post on the issue succinctly counter-argues the enterprise zone issue: "Enterprise zones are effectively a form of discrimination. They say that if you are in Newcastle we'll help you but if you are in London we won't. They also handicap the companies who take the help.

"They end up with an untrained workforce and a smaller pool of talent to select from. That was fine in the days of manual workers, but totally wrong in a knowledge economy."

All of Osborne's plans will be fully revealed on Wednesday and the Smarta team will be tweeting the Budget news as it happens from 12.30. Make sure you're following us on Twitter at @smartahq.

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