Cable makes Vince-Meat out of Tories

Business Secretary calls Conservative rhetoric on benefits ‘deplorable’ and hints at Minimum Wage rise.

lib dems politics tories vince cable

Vince Cable slammed Tory rhetoric surrounding benefits in a talk given this week to students at LMH.

The Lib Dem Deputy Leader described George Osborne’s claim that changes to welfare would target “workers, not shirkers” as “deplorable”.

The Lib Dem minster did though stress the necessity of welfare reform, claiming that the nation needed to funnel more money into education and sciences.


The talk, hosted by the Oxford University Liberal Democrats and the LMH PPE society, began with a brief speech on the continuing effects of the 2009 financial crisis, described by Cable as an “economic heart attack”, before being opened up the floor for questioning.

Both Labour and the Tories were condemned by the Business Secretary who claimed that ‘both right and left are in denial’ over the economic crisis. Cable was also critical of Conservative reluctance to pass the ‘Mansion tax’ championed by the Lib Dems.

Crowds gather for Lib-Dem deputy leader

Cable fielded questions on the difficulty of working in a coalition government, especially in light of the upcoming Eastleigh by-election. Cable stressed the importance of “grown up politics” and that whilst campaigning might be ‘hard hitting’ relationships between the two parties would remain business-like.

Whilst Cable spoke confidently throughout he struggled somewhat when pressed on the subject of the Living Wage Campaign, an issue on which many Oxford students have campaigned, describing it as “genuinely tricky”.

The minster instead focused on the importance of the minimum wage, suggesting there could be grounds for an increase. Cable stated that if given reason he could be “quite bold” when it came to raising the minimum wage.

A con-Vince-ing speaker?

Layla Moran, who shared the stage with Cable, did reaffirm the Lib Dem commitment to the Living Wage locally within Oxford. The Lib Dem candidate for Oxford West & Abingdon agreed with Cable’s scepticism with regards to a nationwide Living Wage.

A large audience were wowed by the senior Lib Dem’s performance. Univ third year Ollie Park said: “I love the man.”

Some were left less impressed though. Former Univ JCR President Dan Tomlinson said: “I was disappointed that the minister who sets the Minimum Wage didn’t understand the concepts behind the Living Wage.”