Leaked letter: Vince Cable slams government for lacking vision

Posted on 6 Mar 2012

In a letter to David Cameron and Nick Clegg leaked to the BBC, business secretary Vince Cable has accused the government of lacking “a compelling vision of where the country is heading beyond sorting out the fiscal mess.”

The news came as the business secretary was speaking at the EEF National Conference in London.

In his letter, Cable urged government to show “more leadership” in supporting key technologies, and called for Royal Bank of Scotland to be split up.

He wrote: “My suggestion is that we recognise that RBS will not return to the market in its current shape and use its time as ward of state to carve out of it a British business bank with a clean balance sheet and a mandate to expand lending rapidly to sound business.”

The letter reveals the shortcomings in the government’s industrial and economic policies. Cable said that the government should have used a more proactive and strategic approach to crises.

Stephen Tetlow, chief executive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said in responded: “Vince Cable is saying what we’ve all been saying for some time:  if we want a vibrant, sustainable, world-beating industrial sector, then the vision must stretch well beyond the vote-catching life of a parliament.”

Mr Tetlow added: “Government strategy needs to be stitched together and coherent.  We are hearing the right notes, but not the tune. ”