With Cable out of the government spotlight since the general election after loosing his seat in Twickenham to Conservative candidate Tania Mathias, he was quizzed on the current government and bankers’ bonuses.
Stating that the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills is being targeted with “aggressive cuts”, he believes the business community is “really quite alarmed” by what prime minister David Cameron’s government is doing.
“But they have got nowhere else to go – they certainly aren’t going to rush to Mr Corbyn!”
Cable would prefer to see the government investing more time and energy to deal with “underlying factors” such as how the electorate earn a living and addressing key issues including training.
“We are paralysed in the UK with this ludicrous debate about austerity vs non-austerity. The world isn’t like that. In a shower you don’t choose between scalding water and ice cold water. You are twiddling the knob to get it right. I think at the moment the shower is too cold. It is all about twiddling the knob! You are not going from one extreme to the other,” he explained.
Cable was business secretary for the entire duration of the coalition government, overseeing developments such as the creation of the British Business Bank, a push for greater diversity at the FTSE level and the creation of 40 new overseas Chambers of Commerce.
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Looking at the issue of bankers’ bonuses, Cable indicated they were “very unhealthy” until the financial crisis – actually becoming “dangerous”.
“Bonuses have been reigned in and now the regulators require bonuses to be paid over time,” he added. “The idea of ordinary banking not being based on salesmen bonuses is attractive and we should look to the more traditional banks such as Handelsbanken. I would like to see more of their business ethos in the UK.”
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