Cable on collision course with Tory ministers
Vince Cable put himself on a collision course with his new ministerial colleague yesterday as he firmly ruled out Tory calls to make it easier for employers to sack staff and defended Liberal Democrat plans for a "wealth tax".
He sought to assert his authority as Business Secretary over his Tory ministers after David Cameron appointed his close ally Michael Fallon to the department in last week's reshuffle – with an instruction to act as a champion for industry.
Mr Cable set himself in opposition to Mr Fallon over the Tories' support for "no-fault dismissal", under which small companies would be allowed to sack staff without explanation. He made clear he was in charge of employment policy and added: "There is job insecurity: we don't want to add to it."
In a newspaper interview yesterday, Mr Fallon criticised the Liberal Democrats' proposal for extra tax on the wealthy. But the Business Secretary told The Andrew Marr Show there was still massive inequality in Britain and said: "Wealthy people could contribute more."
Taking another swipe at his Coalition partners, Mr Cable criticised the bureaucracy surrounding visas for foreign students. Having previously attacked the Home Secretary Theresa May's bid to drive down immigration to "tens of thousands" a year, he said: "There's an enormous amount of red tape around the whole immigration system – permits for workers, visas for people coming from China, students."
With senior Tories now calling for the Coalition to change its policy and support a third runway at Heathrow, Mr Cable, whose South-west London constituency of Twickenham would be affected by such a move, was adamant this will not happen. "There's an absolute political commitment not to expand Heathrow," he said.
Despite the weekend's disagreements, Coalition ministers will seek to bury their differences today as they announce more than 3,000 business regulations are to be scrapped and hundreds of thousands of firms spared health and safety inspections.
Mr Cable and Mr Fallon will put on a united front as they promise a "red-tape blitz" and to protect companies from "compensation culture" claims.
They will announce health and safety inspections will be limited from next year to employers operating in higher-risk areas such as construction and agriculture and to those that have poor safety records. Tomorrow, Mr Cable will set out the Government's business strategy for coming years and the sectors, including the aerospace, automotive and creative industries, that ministers will prioritise for support.
Revealed: Devastating impact of 'bedroom tax' sees huge leap in demand for emergency hardship handouts for tenants
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
Revealed: Eerie new images show forgotten French apartment that was abandoned at the outbreak of World War II and left untouched for 70 years
Chloe Johnson death: Family of five-year-old British girl who died in a pool at in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort 'angry' that more wasn't done to save her
- 1 Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
- 2 Gove’s lesson: spare the comma, spoil the child
- 3 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 4 Grace Dent on TV: Extreme Couponing, My Strange Addiction, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, TLC
- 5 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
£30000 - £40000 per annum + BENS: Progressive Recruitment: Drupal Developer A ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + bens: Progressive Recruitment: C# WEB DEVELOPER Le...
£240 - £260 per day: Progressive Recruitment: WPF Developer (C#, VB.Net) North...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: KS2 teacher needed to do PPA ...