Chuka Umunna MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, commenting on Vince Cable’s announcement of a business bank, said:
“Labour has led calls for the creation of a British Investment Bank, but it is far from clear that the business bank Vince Cable envisages is the kind of institution that will get credit to successful firms who can’t currently access the finance they need.
“Vince Cable will not be able to set up a business bank without the unequivocal backing of George Osborne, and already the Treasury is briefing that this bank is a non-starter. This is yet another Government policy thrown into uncertainty by bickering in Government before it has even got off the ground.
“A major problem with the Government’s previous failed schemes to get lending going to businesses, including Project Merlin and credit easing, was that they relied on the banks themselves getting money out of the door, without any real safeguards to ensure this happened. It is far from clear that Vince Cable’s business bank will be immune from these shortcomings.”
On Vince Cable’s call for an industrial strategy, Chuka Umunna MP said:
“Vince Cable has been in office for two and a half years and despite repeatedly calling for an industrial strategy has instead delivered confusion and uncertainty for business, while reiterating in his speech his absolute support for George Osborne’s failed plan which has delivered a recession made in Downing Street.”
On Vince Cable’s claims that the Liberal Democrats deliver ‘competence with compassion’, Chuka Umunna MP said:
“Vince Cable’s claim that his party delivers ‘competence with compassion’ is a fantasy. This Tory-led Government has trebled tuition fees, abolished the education maintenance allowance and withdrawn tax credits from working families whilst dishing out huge tax breaks to millionaires. Implementing a failed economic plan that has delivered a double dip recession is grossly incompetent.”