The Thick of It


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Is Vince Cable a joke?

I don't quite know how Vince Cable can live with himself. He has been absent from the news recently after a series of gaffes relating to News International's attempt to buy back a bigger share of Sky.

Low paid workers are facing a two-pronged hit to their living standards after Cable announced that the minimum wage is increasing by a below inflation 15 pence an hour. Couple this with a 2.5% increase in VAT and the rise in personal income tax allowances will be completely wiped out. Even though food isn't included in VAT, the cost of fuel is meaning the cost of food and essential items increase anyway. 

Recently Cable was responsible for the trebling of tuition fees. He then has the cheek to suggest he will cut teaching grants to universities for poor performing universities that charge the highest fees, ignoring that he has cut the teaching grants meaning fees have to fill the gap. Universities have no choice but to levy maximum fees. They don't get any extra money for this, it just replaces lost central government funding. There are arguments on both sides about the demerits of the new student funding system that are best argued in a dedicated post.

His red tape challenge reminds me of John Major's cones hotline. Surely Cable can use his own scissors to cut business red tape? This is little more than a gimmick.

Cable was once the darling of the Lib Dems for his foresight in predicting the global financial crisis. He was all over their election leaflets as he was seen as more marketable than the then very popular Nick Clegg. How times change. He was given a deliberately difficult ministerial post by the Tories who clearly saw him as a threat. He is still the most likely Lib Dem to resign from the coalition.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cable was ridiculed for saying 'I have declared war on News International and the bskyb bid and I think we will win'. After the banking predictions- similar ridicule at time- whatever you think of his policies his foresight is looking second to none, no?