Labour has promised “investment on a scale never seen before” to overhaul infrastructure in all areas of the UK.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell says he wants to transfer power and money out of the south-east of England – and will fund his plans through borrowing.
The Tories have also vowed to borrow to fund more spending, rewriting their current financial rules.
Chancellor Sajid Javid denied copying Labour’s plans, saying he would practise “sensible stewardship”.
But Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Ed Davey warned that both parties were “writing promises on cheques that will bounce”.
Labour and the Conservatives say they want to take advantage of historically low interest rates to spend more on transport, hospitals and other infrastructure projects.
They are locked in a battle for votes in the Midlands and north of England in swing seats that could decide who forms the next government on 12 December.
Both parties are also promising to shift power and control of spending out of London – but they have different ideas about how to do that.
Speaking in Liverpool, Mr McDonnell promised to set up a Treasury unit in the north of England to take spending decisions out of Whitehall.
The Conservatives have promised to give the north of England more control over its railways, greater powers for some elected mayors and a new economic development body.
The campaign speeches over investment come as:
Former Labour MPs Ian Austin and John Woodcock called on voters to vote for the Conservatives
Pro-Remain parties Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and the Lib Dems agreed not to stand against each other in dozens of seats
Election officers hit back at calls from the education secretary for polling stations not to be placed in schools
At the 2017 general election, Labour announced plans to set up a national transformation fund to overhaul the UK’s transport links and infrastructure.
This includes a social transformation fund, which Mr McDonnell said would now get an extra £100bn, providing a £150bn pot to be spent over the next five years.
A further £250bn of investment will be spent across the country through the Green Transformation Fund.
Mr McDonnell said the investment would help a Labour government address a “climate emergency”, as well as a “human emergency which has been created by the Tories”.
He said his party would introduce new fiscal rules, meaning “borrowing for investment” would not be included in borrowing targets.
He added the new approach would mean public assets created by infrastructure spending would be “recognised both as a cost and as a benefit”.