THE fledgling North West regional assembly has set a target of 50,000 jobs to be created by 2010.
Assembly leaders have pledged that 10,000 of these jobs will be created in Merseyside.
The jobs boost, which will be focused on small technology-based companies, will not depend on voters giving the green-light to an elected regional body in a referendum in October.
But No campaigners last night said the figures were "pure speculation" and said it made no difference what targets the regional assembly set.
The assembly is currently lobbying for 5,000 civil servant jobs to be directed to the North West from London.
Assembly leaders have set a target for funding bodies such as the North West Development Agency and regeneration groups such as the
Mersey Partnership to create a further 45,000 jobs.
These posts will be in small and medium-sized companies and in research-based university spin-off companies.
The leader of the shadow assembly, Derek Boden, believes the region needs a new ambitious jobs target because a change in the way Government statistics are collected mean some economic targets set this year for 2006 were actually achieved in 2001. Yes campaigners last night said "considerably more" jobs would be created if the public voted for an elected regional assembly with greater decision-making powers.
But North West Says No chairman Sir David Trippier said: "Talk is cheap. The regional assembly is regarded as a joke. It wouldn't make a blind bit of difference what the regional assembly says or, God forbid, what an elected regional assembly would say."
Meanwhile, local government minister Nick Raynsford is to hold a public hearing in Liverpool on April 5th.
The minister will answer questions from the public on the possible roles and powers of any future elected assemblies.
No campaigners have said the Government will use the hearings to push the case for elected assemblies and complained they had not been invited.
Sir David Trippier said: "Is Mr Prescott running scared of giving the No Campaign a proper platform?