Spring Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:17 pm on 13th March 2019.

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Photo of Vincent Cable Vincent Cable Leader of the Liberal Democrats 1:17 pm, 13th March 2019

I am trying to find something positive to say about a rather less than earth-shattering event, but I do welcome the support for industrial strategy and innovation. I also welcome the Furman report. However, does it not rather give the game away that global monopoly abuse is being referred to the British competition authorities at a time when we are walking away from the much more powerful European Commission, which could really deal with the problem?

On growth, is it not the case that while we are escaping recession, which is very welcome, that is primarily due to continued extraordinary monetary policy and low or negative real interest rates, which cannot continue? It may have been useful after the financial crisis, but it is an addictive drug.

Finally, how on earth does the Chancellor expect this proposed surge of business investment to occur when, even under the Government’s Brexit plans, there is going to be a cliff edge in two years’ time that any business will naturally seek to avoid?