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Cable warns government over economic "complacency"

Business secretary Vince Cable is to criticise chancellor George Osborne over “complacency” regarding the UK’s economic growth.

The Lib Dem MP will today use his address to a joint Government/CBI industrial strategy conference at Warwick University to insist that “sustained business investment” is still needed if recovery is to be “meaningful”.

The speech will also note the possibility of the housing market “getting out of control” – thought to be a reference to Government plans to offer first-time buyers loans through the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme.
In his speech, Cable will say: “We can’t rest on our laurels. The kind of growth we want won’t simply emerge of its own volition. In fact, I see a number of dangers. One is complacency, generated by a few quarters of good economic data.

“It isn’t difficult to see evidence of confidence returning, and there are positive trends in production. Taken together with success stories like the car industry and export growth in emerging markets, we have the beginnings of a recovery story.

“But there are risks, not least the housing market getting out of control. Recovery will not be meaningful until we see strong and sustained business investment - and this is still 13% down on its 2008 peak and, as a share of GDP, is currently the lowest in the G7.”

Cable will add: “‘If we are to turn the British economy around on a sustainable basis there will have to be relatively rapid growth of exports and import substitutes.”


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