Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable has called for a “renaissance of manufacturing” in the North West and a “massive injection” of infrastructure investment, in a speech today at his party’s Autumn conference.
The former Business Secretary warned that the UK economy remains overly reliant on property markets and banks in London and the South East.
He l then set out policies to tackle regional inequality and rebalance the economy, including boosting investment in railways, broadband and housing and called for more funding for lifelong learning and an expansion in apprenticeships.
Vince Cable commented:
“We need to lift Britain from what at present is a dangerous over-dependence on property markets and banks in the South East corner of England.
“This country needs a massive injection of public investment, more innovation and a renaissance of manufacturing.
“We need to invest in the railway network across the North of England as well in broadband and housing.
“Every pound spent building modern Britain will be returned many times over
“Never in British economic history has it been cheaper for the government to borrow for productive investment, alongside the private sector. So why is this government so feeble and so passive?”
On apprenticeships and lifelong learning, Vince Cable added:
“More than anything else, investing in people is the key to a successful modern economy.
“In government, the Liberal Democrats launched an apprenticeship revolution.
“But there is so much more to do to ensure that high quality apprenticeships and training are an option available to every young person.
“Millions of workers in middle age now face their office and factory jobs disappearing with the advance of automation and artificial intelligence. We’ve got to be the party with the answers for those people
“Under my leadership, our party will be the champions of lifelong learning, giving everyone a chance of self-improvement and employment at every stage in life.”