Job Insecurity

Part of Opposition Day — [Un-allotted Day] — NHS – in the House of Commons at 5:03 pm on 5th February 2014.

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Photo of Vincent Cable Vincent Cable The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 5:03 pm, 5th February 2014

The hon. Lady is right, and it is one of the major casualties of the banking crisis that SME lending dried up. We are taking action on that through the business bank and in other ways. Restoring credit to the SMEs through the banking sector is a critical objective and it is a constraint on growth.

The shadow Minister’s conclusion was a good issue to embark on, and I just wish that he had spent more than two minutes and the last line of the motion on it. There is a real issue about how the recovery will be sustained. There are deep problems, including the lack of trained people and the rebuilding of supply chains. I would love to have a long debate with him about the industrial strategy, how we extend it, and what a Labour Government would do to reinforce it. I do not know whether the shadow Chancellor will come up with some more money, but I would be delighted to hear that it would have that kind of support. But the shadow Minister dismissed it as an afterthought in the last two minutes of a half hour speech, and I was, frankly, rather disappointed by that.

The shadow Minister chose to focus on jobs, and they are of course central. I want to address the issues of employment and employment conditions—