The announcement today by Lib Dem Business Secretary, Vince Cable, of a new government backed business bank working through alternative providers to offer co-investment and guarantees, with the focus on both regional and sectoral support, has been welcomed as a part of a long term vision to keep UK industry as a world leader. The bank will improve access to finance and help all businesses in expanding their operations and creating growth.
Access to finance is at the centre of Vince Cable’s vision, which looks at where the UK has a competitive advantage now, and where it can build on that in the next 20 years.
Liberal Democrats in Government are committed to a long term strategic partnership between government and industry that will give businesses clarity about where the government will be concentrating its efforts. For too long everyday government decisions that affect business and business planning have been made in a chaotic ad-hoc way, making it difficult for businesses to plan strategically.
Government needs to make strategic plans and stick to them, that way business can plan properly for the future. Vince stated that “Our first part of that plan is lifting the barrier that poor access to finance puts on growth. By helping firms to invest capital, businesses expand and create jobs.”
Vince set out a clear and ambitious vision, a commitment far beyond the usual political timescale, that will continue to bear fruit for decades to come, giving our businesses certainty and allowing them to make their own long term plans.
The four key announcements include:
- A new state backed business bank to help companies invest in their future;
- Government and industry partnerships with strategies for specific sectors by 2013;
- £140 million boost for the skills that businesses need; and
- A new Innovation and Knowledge centre to boost commercialisation of research.