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Vince Cable live webchat Tuesday 20 December 1.30-2.30pm

(126 Posts)
GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 08-Dec-11 15:47:44

We're delighted that Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, will be coming into GNHQ to join us live for a webchat on Tuesday 20 December. A LibDem MP (for Twickenham) and an economist, Vince has been a leading commentator on the banks and their role in the economic crisis. He holds one of the key posts in the coalition. Ask your questions here.

grannyactivist Thu 08-Dec-11 16:44:37

I would like to ask Mr. Cable what he thinks the impact of the Con-Dem coalition will be at the next election? I ask this in view of the fact that my in-laws, who have been lifelong supporters and activists for the party, have cancelled their membership and say they were betrayed by the LibDems. Similarly my son, a third year university student, also voted for the LibDems and says that he will never vote for them again for the same reason.

Supernan Sat 10-Dec-11 18:33:06

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said that better-off elderly people should make a “sacrifice” to help the Government balance its books. This now appears not to be a voluntary sacrifice. He proposes to means test the elderly for their bus passes & heating allowance. What is Vince Cable's view on this subject. Is this a party policy? I live in his Twickenham constituency.

Mamie Sun 11-Dec-11 11:21:16

I should like to ask Vince Cable if he feels he has been successful in convincing fellow members of the government of the importance of business, trade and industry in the UK beyond the narrow confines of the City of London and the financial services industry? How does he view the current wave of anti-European sentiments coming from parts of the Conservative party and the media in terms of its long-term impact on Britain's economic development?

JessM Mon 12-Dec-11 08:01:00

I would like to ask Mr Cable what he is doing to help the growth of SMEs (small/medium enterprises) to grow and prosper. Most people in the private sector work for these businesses and unless some of them thrive and prosper there will be no future prosperity for the UK.

absentgrana Mon 12-Dec-11 11:21:50

I should like to know why universities come under the umbrella of business rather than education and, given the way the liberal arts and languages have been dismissed by this coalition, is there a plan to change the nature of further education simply to training for employment?

JessM Mon 12-Dec-11 14:49:11

Oh do they? In which case what, Mr C, are you going to do about the dismal state of the sciences? My husband suggested that science degrees should be subject to much lower fees. How about that for an incentive for bright students to follow that path?

crumblygranny Wed 14-Dec-11 10:52:27

I'd like to ask how you felt, personally, after being duped by the journalists posing as two young mums for the Telegraph sting? I have to admit feeling very sorry for you. Is that why you choose Gransnet not Mumsnet? (We're very pleased to have you though).

firenze Wed 14-Dec-11 15:37:49

Before the election, you were vocal about the irresponsibility of bankers...and this was very powerful, coming from someone who had worked in banking and had a sense of how things should be run to ensure stability.

How do you reconcile this with lack of action over bankers' bonuses and the government's outright hostility to regulation of the City, as seen at the recent Brussels summit?

flopsybunny Wed 14-Dec-11 15:39:23

Did you ever in your wildest dreams imagine that you would be in coalition with the Conservatives?

carer Wed 14-Dec-11 22:51:40

At the Lib Dem Conference this year a motion was successfully passed to oppose various aspects of the Welfare Reform Bill including opposing the Employment Support Allowance time limit. However it appears that very few Lib Dem MPs and Lords are taking action with regard to this issue. Why are they not abiding by the motion and what is the point of motions being passed at Conference if no one takes any notice?

NativityQueen Thu 15-Dec-11 12:42:54

Before the 2010 election, the LibDems peddled themselves as being the party of 'No more broken promises'. Nick Clegg on Broken Promises. "Broken Promises - there have been too many in the last few years".

What was the LibDem's biggest promise? "I pledge to vote against ANY rise in tution fees".

I have heard the argument "But we didn't win the election, and therefore couldn't enact all of our manifesto". Frankly that is a ridiculous argument. Because the pledge to VOTE AGAINST any rise in tuition fees would ONLY be valid in the event of the LibDems NOT winning the election outright. If the LibDems had won outright, they presumably would not have introduced a bill increasing tuition fees, and therefore there would be no opportunity to VOTE AGAINST such a rise. The only opportunity to vote against a rise in tuition fees would be if the LibDems were in opposition, or in coalition, not in government on their own.

Bearing that in mind, how can you possibly expect a voter to ever trust a word a Liberal Democrat says again? Your manifesto will not be worth the paper it is written on, because you have proven that you will say anything to win votes in the election, and your promises that you bought the votes with may be cast aside immediately. I (to my shame) voted Liberal Democrat because our candidate assured me that in our area, the only way to keep the Tories out was by voting Liberal Democrat. He reassured me they would not be enabling a Tory Government, because Nick Clegg 'would not be a kingmaker'. For the first time ever I am glad a Conservative won our area, because at least I know my vote has not gone towards electing this terrible Government, which in my view is undemocratic, on account of the positions the relative parties took prior to the election - Labour and LibDem both took a position of a slower, shallower cut to the deficit, and this position gathered over 15 million votes, compared to 10 million votes for the Conservative sharp, deep cuts proposal. Therefore I regard this coalition as entirely undemocratic.

So my question is - how can you possibly expect any voter to believe or trust a word you say ever again? Please don't answer with a 'spun party line' - I've heard them all, and would like an honest answer, not one that begins "we didn't win the election", or "working together in the national interest".

auldcodgers Fri 16-Dec-11 00:34:45

Closing businesses = LESS tax revenue for the government.

Less fuel being bought = LESS tax revenue for the government.

Less retail goods being bought = LESS tax revenue for the government.

More unemployment = MORE unemployment benefit being paid out by the government.

I am not an economist but I can add up and these 3 LESSES and 1 MORE =

BIG TROUBLE for the economy.

Restricting people's incomes by upping taxes is not answer. If you want people to spend and create growth for this country you must reduce taxation and thus give incentive for spending.

LESS taxation = More spending = More growth = Stronger economy.

Berengaria Fri 16-Dec-11 15:44:42

Could you please ask Mr Cable what is being done to help older people back into the workplace after they have been made redundant.

I have been out of work for three years, despite looking for a new position almost daily, with little success. I have always been hard working and find this period of my life unnecessarily stressful.

I thought the government wanted ordinary persons to spend more on the High Street thus helping small businesses, This is not possible for me, millions more and I do not have a time line for this to change for the better.

cabpjackson Sat 17-Dec-11 04:53:17

I worked and paid tax in the UK for 50 years, but when I emigrated to Vancouver Canada my pension which includes some serps (State Earnings related Pension Scheme) was frozen at 48 pounds a week because of the UK governments inconsistant arrangements with countries outside the EU. I should be getting 139 pounds a week now so I am missing out 91 pounds a week, and I am asking what your government is going to do to restore the pension I have earned, along with the pensions of more than half a million British Pensioners in more than 120 countries, and of people in UK who might be considering retiring abroad?

dotnet Sat 17-Dec-11 08:12:07

Personal debt - do the LibDems think it is a good thing?
Personal debt - do the LibDems think it is a good thing to inculcate a 'debt=good' mindset in eighteen and nineteen year olds looking for an education?

What do you think of the way Alex Salmond is looking after his Scottish students? And, finally, when is something going to be done to abolish the new serfdom of unpaid work in the form of 'internships' for our children leaving university?:

Annobel Sun 18-Dec-11 10:15:59

Vince, please could you, as an economist, explain the enormous influence that the ratings agencies have on the world's economic situation? Why should these private companies (is that what they are?) dictate interest rates to democratically elected governments?

Dropstitch Mon 19-Dec-11 10:51:14

Hi Vince, I voted Lib Dem at the last election and, whilst horrified that the Conservatives got in, was even more horrified that the Lib Dems chose to form a government with them and not the Labour party. I do believe that Labour needed some time to sort themselves out again but always felt that they were a more natural partner to the Lib Dems than the Conservatives.

What do you think a LibDem/Labour coalition could have achieved that a Conservative/LibDem coalition won't, ie on tuition fees?

effblinder Mon 19-Dec-11 11:41:11

Hi Vince,

Thanks very much for joining us. I wonder how you feel about the public attitude towards Nick Clegg and how far you feel it is justified. He has received a lot of flak (putting it mildly!) for his actions on issues like tuition fees, and the points he has disagreed with the Tory line on have slipped under the radar a lot more.

Do you think there is enough public and party support for Clegg to stand as Lib Dem leader at the next election, or do you think that he has irrevocably damaged his Lib Dem credentials now?

JosieGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 19-Dec-11 12:27:38

Hello all,

Just to alert you to the amended time of 1.30-2.30pm tomorrow for our Vince Cable webchat.

We're very much looking forward to it - get your questions ready!

getmehrt Mon 19-Dec-11 16:17:45

A lot of people who seem very well-informed are predicting the Euro can't survive more than a couple of years. (This is not wishful thinking on my part!)

Do you think David Cameron's so-called veto has increased the likelihood of a collapse of the Euro by making Europe a little bit less stable and coherent?

distaffgran Mon 19-Dec-11 16:23:56

I would like to ask, what is your attitude to the Occupy movement and their slogan, "we are the 99%"?

Do you think they have something important to say? And do you think the fact that there has been a surge of people power movements in the developed world suggests that politicians and mainstream politics have failed to take on the big corporations and the banks?

politigeek Tue 20-Dec-11 08:19:16

Is 2019 soon enough to implement the proposals of the Vickers report into banking? Why the very long delay?

frangipane Tue 20-Dec-11 08:21:02

What will you be getting the woman in your life for Christmas? What are you hoping for yourself?

onthefence Tue 20-Dec-11 08:23:24

Many of us have been appalled by the coalition's decision to bring in tuition fees - and by the scale of them. How much is too much?

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