Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa

Goan sausages rather than growth seem to be on business secretary Vince Cable’s mind, with only one of 50 Regional Growth Fund projects green lighted by BIS.

Goan sausages rather than growth seem to be on business secretary Vince Cable’s mind, with only one of 50 Regional Growth Fund projects green lighted by BIS, writes Kevin Meagher


Despite today’s depressing confirmation that Q2 growth was a measly 0.2%, officials at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) appear unfazed by the need for urgent action. The Local Government Chronicle reports just one of the 50 successful bids to the first round of the Regional Growth Fund announced back in April has actually been green-lighted. The remaining 49 bids are still undergoing “due diligence” tests by departmental officials.

The RGF is the £1.4 billion pot designed to bolster the private sector in areas affected by public spending cuts following the government’s myopic decision to scrap the eight English regional development agencies. The first round of bidding was oversubscribed with just 50 projects out of the 464 submitted being approved. Clearly officials have a duty to ensure value for money – but they should have factored in how long it would take to approve and then assess bids.

As Tony Dolphin put it on Left Foot Forward this morning, we are “almighty close” to a double-dip recession and there should be no unnecessary delays in pulling levers that will stimulate activity and avert the likelihood of further economic pain.

Many of the areas desperately waiting for RGF money to come through in order fund vital job-creating projects are already effectively in recession. With national growth so low – and with London and the South East driving what little growth there is – other parts of the country are already seriously lagging behind.

The RGF – worth just a third of the money spent by Labour’s Regional Development Agencies – is a desperately needed economic lifeline. But all the department can offer by way of a timeframe is that it expects more of the bids to be approved “in the autumn”.

Shadow business minister Gordon Marsden blasted the department for dragging its feet:

“You might have thought given the stagnation in government growth policies that this would be a top priority for the business department, but in fact they appear to be asleep at the wheel just when England’s regions are crying out for this investment.”

Meanwhile the man in charge, Secretary of State Vince Cable, is sunning himself in Goa, finding time this week to extol the virtues of traditional Goan sausages (“something of an acquired taste”) for a travel piece in the Daily Telegraph. Dr Cable would do better to promote economic growth rather than luxury holiday destinations. He should set a clear deadline for his officials to complete diligence tests and get this funding released.

There is no room for delay as this investment is meant to provide vital support for parts of the country already grappling with economic stagnation.

39 Responses to “Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa”

  1. Michelle Cowley

    Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: http://t.co/9SjbZcB writes Kevin Meagher

  2. Jane Leach

    Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: http://t.co/9SjbZcB writes Kevin Meagher

  3. Alex Braithwaite

    Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: http://t.co/9SjbZcB writes Kevin Meagher

  4. Paul Meagher

    Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: http://t.co/9SjbZcB writes Kevin Meagher

  5. Shamik Das

    Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: http://t.co/9SjbZcB writes Kevin Meagher

  6. Pucci Dellanno

    Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: http://t.co/9SjbZcB writes Kevin Meagher

  7. Pucci Dellanno

    Why? Still same #growth chestnut? RT @leftfootfwd Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: http://t.co/spMFJYi #capitalism

  8. DrKMJ

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: http://t.co/zr84rVF writes Kevin Meagher #NewsClub

  9. Political Planet

    Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: Goan sausages rather than growth seem to be on business se… http://t.co/sCCEvAJ

  10. J

    Bash the poor growth figures and ridiculously ineffective policies for growth, but please forgo personal hits such as that against Vince Cable’s holiday.

    Left Foot Forward has to strive to avoid the gutter journalism used on its counterpart sites. Half this article is just poor journalism, and just poor taste.

  11. Hitchin England

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: http://t.co/1v2KAPJ writes Kevin Meagher #NewsClub

  12. Paul Halsall

    I think these barbs thrown at politicians for taking vacations in August are simply cheap jibes.

  13. Mast Goa

    Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa http://t.co/zJStRbb

  14. Mr. Sensible

    Says it all doesn’t it…

  15. Anon E Mouse

    Redacted

  16. Robert

    Anyone remember Labours minister on holiday skiing while our lads died in a Labour Blair war, asked why are you still on holiday he stated because it’s my holiday.

    I suspect of course Blair time is now history

  17. Mast Goa

    Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa | Left Foot … http://t.co/zv7ad16

  18. Leon Wolfson

    Ah, a solid hit, by Mouse’s reaction. Of course he has to slander and trash people in the process, but it’s telling he has no rebuttal for the Tory’s slaughter of British growth.

  19. Extradition Game

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: http://t.co/l8y18hY writes Kevin Meagher #NewsClub

  20. Hens4Freedom

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: http://t.co/sRpaMIK writes Kevin Meagher #NewsClub

  21. Innovation Aurorium

    Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa – Left Foot Forward http://t.co/Mm5p0QW #Innovation

  22. DrKMJ

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: http://t.co/zr84rVF writes Kevin Meagher #NewsClub

  23. Trakgalvis

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: http://t.co/v8D6rmX writes Kevin Meagher #NewsClub

  24. GamesMonitor

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: http://t.co/v8D6rmX writes Kevin Meagher #NewsClub

  25. Richard

    “Half this article is just poor journalism, and just poor taste.”

    One paragraph out of eight. Yourself and Mickey Mouse have a strange understanding of basic mathematics, not that I’m at all surprised by the latter’s deficiency.

  26. Dave Citizen

    Rather a flimsy offering this one – Britain’s lack of economic dynamism goes an awful lot deeper than the current batch of pathetically inadequate policies and certainly has nothing to do with one politician’s holiday antics.

    Sooner or later we are going to have to wake up to the fact that the world has moved on from the days when “economic growth” was the answer to everything. Prosperity is going to need a fundamental shift towards creating wealth and away from consuming it – engineers, integrated local energy projects, greater food independence – such a shift will not be easy but is long overdue. Trouble is, there’s a very rich international elite who don’t want things to change.

  27. Anon E Mouse

    Redacted by Editor

  28. Extradition Game

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa: http://t.co/l8y18hY writes Kevin Meagher #NewsClub

  29. Chris Squire

    Vince Cable has been on a walking tour in Ireland, not Goa: you really must learn to read what others write more carefully before sounding off yourself. He knows Goa well because that is where the family of his first wife, the late Olympia Cable, came from. He’s been back at work this week and was doing his constituency surgery at his office as usual on Friday.

  30. Editor

    Message to Anon E Mouse – here is a reminder of our Comments Policy:

    “We welcome discussion and debate but keep it nice. Comments should stick to the topic, any containing offensive language or personal attacks will be removed. And if we have to moderate a specific commenter three times, we’ll block them.”

    This is at least the second time you’ve had a comment removed. Please don’t make it three or we’ll have to block you.

  31. Anon E Mouse

    Editor – You have blocked me for telling the truth and as you say it is the second time. Last time this blog misrepresented my comments which was unfair.

    Not one single thing I stated was untrue and every comment was made publicly in this fine blog by the author Kevin Meagher who continued to defend his position.

    You don’t like the fact that it was true that’s all and unlike Will Straw who only redacts the part of the comments he feels breach the rules you have chosen to prevent people viewing what is true because you don’t like it.

    Let me guess this will be “redacted” as well. When will the Labour Party realise they will not gain any popularity by these types of actions designed to prevent debate unless it’s part of their hopeless Group-Think.

    If I’d done something wrong or told lies then I’d put my hands up but I haven’t and your redaction is unfair I feel.

    This is what YOUR author said here.

    http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/01/gerry-adams-david-cameron-departure-from-commons/

    http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/02/tory-run-hammersmith-council-community-funding-cuts/

  32. matthew fox

    Poor Anon E Mouse sinking as usual.

  33. Maureen Alderson

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa http://t.co/lijuaxv

  34. Anon E Mouse

    matthew fox – No not sinking – just being treated unfairly but hey I’m used to it on this fine blog.

    It’s just my cross to bear and thanks for the sympathy for once…

  35. Coalition manufactur​ing policy shot to pieces | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa – Kevin Meagher, August 26th […]

  36. RGF’s foot-dragging and half-measures leave regional economies in the cold | Left Foot Forward

    […] Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa – Kevin Meagher, August 26th […]

  37. Spending watchdog slams Regional Growth Fund waste | Left Foot Forward

    […] Cable should concentrate on promoting growth not Goa 26 Aug […]

  38. Goa Holiday

    Very Informative Post

Leave a Reply