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Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:27 pm on 24th March 2011.

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Photo of Vincent Cable Vincent Cable The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 2:27 pm, 24th March 2011

I really do not know what the right hon. Gentleman is talking about. We started by talking about excessive bonuses in one very large investment bank, and he has now extended that to the whole of the financial services sector. Of course that sector is valuable. Of course the jobs and the tax revenue are valuable, but that is not what he was talking about in his ideological dispute with his deputy leader.

Let me return to the right hon. Gentleman’s central message that the Government should abandon, or substantially modify, their fiscal strategy. I shared a platform last week at the London School of Economics with Angel Gurría of the OECD. He was asked what the Government should do. He had a simple message, which was that we should “stick with it”. He is not some pro-coalition politician or right-wing ideologue; he is the head of an organisation representing 25 Governments. Opposition Members should ask themselves—the shadow Chancellor was asked this but he neatly evaded the question—why all the major international institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the G20, support the strategy that we have adopted. The reason is that they are all painfully aware that we are in an economically dangerous world in which crises of sovereign debt are not very far away.