Cable comes out fighting over criticism of growth strategy

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has hit back at critics who believe through "ignorance, amnesia or mischief... that the Government can somehow guarantee an immediate, miraculous, return to rapid economic growth through some all-encompassing plan".

He singled out Ed Balls, saying that the shadow Chancellor, when City Minister, "turned a blind eye to the madness brewing within the financial sector, and now ignores the need to deal with unaffordable spending. Bankrupts can't buy their way back to growth."

In a more oblique swipe at his former Liberal Democrat colleague Lord Oakeshott, who resigned as a Coalition spokesman in the Lords over the Government's "Project Merlin" deal with the banks, Mr Cable added: "I should say that in supporting this agreement, I chose to disregard the advice of commentators and supporters who told me not to touch the agreement with a barge pole."

Mr Cable has been widely criticised by both political opponents and business groups such as the CBI for failing to publish a Government strategy for growth, even though the Treasury has set out radical fiscal plans to bring down debt.

However, speaking at the Mansion House on the day that thefuture of BSkyB was apparently settled – an issue that almost ended his career – Mr Cable said the Government was working towards setting out such a vision.

The Business Secretary also vowed to resist pressure from the CBI and others to soften the Coalition's stance on immigration and work visas. He said: "This government has, successfully I think, got the balance right between providing reassurance to the public that borders are under control and providing a welcome to visitors be they businessmen, skilled workers, tourists or students."

The Government would also plough ahead with its planningreforms, Mr Cable said, and hedenied a rift with the Communities Secretary.

"Sometimes obstruction prevents the transformative economicopportunity from taking place: the retailer that regenerates the town centre, or the international headquarters that instead decides to head elsewhere," Mr Cable said.

"That is why the Government is bent on planning reform. Contrary to what you may read, Eric Pickles and I are at one on this. We want local communities to benefit from growth, and the standard answer to be yes, not no."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy