Vince Cable: True Cost Of Recession Felt In Bristol

December 18, 2009

Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable believes the true cost of the recession is being borne in cities like Bristol.

He said today that London has an “artificial boom mentality”, created by a rise in the stock market and high prices for luxury homes.

But he believes shopkeepers, traders and other small business in provincial cities better understand the true cost of the downturn.

Vince Cable

Vince Cable, Lib Dem candidate Paul Harrod and shopkeeper Kathy Thorne

Among those he met was businesswoman Kathy Thorne, who runs the Time For Fun party shop on Filton Rd, Horfield.

Kathy has just been forced to give up her premises as a result of what she believes are excessive demands for rent by her landlord.

Her circumstances may be unsual, but her experience of going bust is sadly typical of many shops around the city.

Vince told Jones The News: “There is an artificial boom mentality in London, created by the stock exchange and luxury property prices, but it is very artificial.

But out in the country it is very different, people are very sober. There is a problem, though some people think there isn’t.”

He also hit out at the Labour government’s policies towards the banks.

He said: “Having taken the banks over, he has just let the banks go back to business as usual. Gordon Brown is intimidated by the bankers.

“For ten years, Brown has curtsied to the city of London and isn’t able or willing to exert any kind of control, and that is a big weakness.”

But he refused to be drawn on the possibility of serving as chancellor in a hung parliament. Many commentators believe a hung parliament is becoming more likely, as the Tories lead over Labour shrinks.

One frequently-discussed scenario is that Cable would become Chancellor if the Liberals formed a coalition either with Labour or the Conservatives.

But he swept the idea away, saying: “It’s not a personal thing. I am part of a team and that team is doing very well. Bristol is a good example of the way the Liberal Democrats have come from a long way behind to become the dominant political force in the city.

“There is no question of me going off to do anything on my own. what we are concerned about is not jobs for me or anyone else. We are more concerned with getting our policies across.

“It is my ambition to be chancellor in a Lib Dem administration, that is what we are aiming for.”

Audio: Martin Jones interviews Vince Cable



  1. Bet he wasn’t asked to explain how the £1.7bn he plans to raise from the mansion tax will fund £22bn cut in income tax allowances or what plans he has for savage cuts in the public services

    • No, true. But I’m no economist so I would have no idea whether a politician’s answer to that question would be true or not. Though I guess you’ve made the point right there.

      I was more interested in a (non-Bristol) Lib Dem PPC telling me her main campaign message was ‘Vote Lib Dem to get Vince Cable for Chancellor’.

  2. Martin

    agree that is a good story to follow


    P.S> have put a link to your blog from mine

  3. Thanks Martin for the post and the interview.

    We do need to be supporting local shops and businesses as we move to being a more sustainable city. By “sustainable” I mean both environmentally and economically.

    Bristolwestpaul mentions our “mansion tax” and our determination to deliver fairer income tax. That means lower income tax for the poorer in our city, but higher taxes for those who, as Vince puts it, “have broader shoulders”.

    Lib Dems are fundamentally in favour of fairer taxes and if we can elect additional Lib Dem MPs in 2010, such as Paul Harrod in Bristol North West then we can see the prospect of a fairer society for all.

    So many people are fed up with the tired old “Labour’s turn”, “Tories’ turn”, “Labour’s turn”, “Tories’ turn” which we have had running our country for the last century.


    • Jon

      so why is your party opposed to the 50% tax on people earning over £150k? Is it because your have a lot of wealthy voters in your rural seats, the same reason why you increased threshold for mansion tax from £1m to £2m. A property tax for high value domestic properties is not a bad idea but it covers less than 10% of the costs of the tac reduction that you claim and therefore the package is fundamentally dishonest.

      Indeed your party is planning to abolish domestic property taxes too, it just doesn’t hang together as a coherent tax policy – just a good soundbite.

      Anyway have a merry Christmas


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