'Stop moaning and work harder', says Hague

 

Foreign Secretary William Hague has said there is only one answer to Britain's economic woes - hard work.

In a blunt message to the country's bosses, he said they should stop complaining and get on with the business of wealth creation.

His comments, in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, are a direct riposte to business leaders who criticised the lack of measures for economic growth in the Queen's Speech.

“There's only one growth strategy: work hard,” Mr Hague said. “I think they should be getting on with the task of creating more of those jobs and more of those exports, rather than complaining about it.”

Asked if his comments could be compared to Lord Tebbit's “on your bike” message to the unemployed in the 1980s, Mr Hague said: “It's more than that. It's 'Get on the plane, go and sell things overseas, go and study overseas'.

“It's much more than getting on the bike, the bike didn't go that far.”

The paper said that Mr Hague, as a former comprehensive schoolboy from Yorkshire whose parents manufactured soft drinks, was seen as the best person to deliver the tough message, rather than David Cameron or George Osborne, who have been criticised for their privileged backgrounds.

Shadow cabinet office minister Michael Dugher said ministers should stop blaming other people for their mistakes.

“The Conservatives said after the local elections that they had got the message,” he said.

“Instead, these out-of-touch government ministers are burying their heads in the sand and just want to blame everybody else for the fact their economic plan has failed.

“The truth is it's ministers who need to 'work harder' - at getting an economy that promotes growth and creates jobs.”

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said everyone needed to work harder to create growth - because while Government can create the conditions for growth, the investment needed must come from business.

"Government will create the conditions for us all to work a little bit harder," he told the BBC's Sunday Politics programme.

"I think the nature of the world has changed, we've got to recognise we are in competition not just with our European neighbours but also the balance is shifting towards the Far East.

"Growth will only come from people making things, people selling things, it cannot come from Government - Government can only create conditions for growth."

Mr Pickles highlighted the Going Places Fund his department has administered and the Regional Growth Fund, as well as cuts to corporation tax.

And challenged on forecasts for business investment, which the Office for Budget Responsibility has cut, he said: "It isn't going to come from Government.

"There isn't a magic wand. All we can do is create the conditions.

"We've reduced the level of taxation on business, we've encouraged people to invest, but it's a difficult financial time. You only have to look at what is happening on the continent to understand that.

"Britain is a trading nation.

"I'm saying it can never come from Government.

"What is massively important for us is to bear down on the deficit. We could probably create a false boom if we followed Labour's policies of borrowing more but ultimately we would arrive at a reckoning sooner or later."

Mr Pickles said the Queen's Speech should be seen in the context of "radical reforms" made since the coalition took office in 2010.

And he said he personally wanted to see the Government go further on slashing red tape - proposing a one regulation in, two out measure, a stronger policy than the Government's one in, one out pledge.

Mr Pickles said: "Government can't create growth, only the conditions for growth.

"We are only going to be able to do this if we all work harder... the only way we can pull out of this is by all of us working harder."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Sport
David Silva strokes home his and City's second goal
football
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Life and Style
food + drink
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 General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas