My favourite Vince Cable quote on Tory immigration policy

by Stephen Tall on February 27, 2014

Vince Cable smiling - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsThe good news is that more people chose to come to the UK last year. Net migration to the UK increased to 212,000 in the year to September 2013, up from 154,000 in the previous year. As the independent Office for Budget Responsibility has shown before: if you want increased growth, you should welcome immigration.

Here’s how Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable put it, according to the BBC:

Vince Cable welcomed the increase in net migration to the UK, saying the target to reduce it to tens of thousands each year had been set by the Conservatives, not the coalition government. He said: “Actually it’s good news because the reason immigration is going up is because fewer British people are emigrating and surely that’s a good thing – people are getting jobs here.”

But that’s not my favourite Vince quote on the subject of the Tories’ anti-growth “reduce net migration at any costs” policy. Here’s what he said a year ago:

The Lib Dem business secretary, who is the most frequent and high-profile critic of his party’s coalition partners, even mocked the policy, adding: “When you think about the logic of it: net immigration means reducing the number of people coming in or increasing the number of British people emigrating. Is that the policy objective? I don’t know …”

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.

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4 comments

You utter contemptible fool. What you call “growth” is nothing but rising GDP based on debt fuelled booms, which benefits the few whilst leaving those at the bottom poorer.

Those at the bottom don’t get a wage rise, whilst the increase in house prices massively outstrips inflation and funnels wealth from the poor to the rich. Unemployment amongst the poor grows, increasing the welfare burden. Those who do work increasingly need assistance because they can’t afford the basics. The rate of influx is vastly greater than the rate of building of new schools and hospitals, leaving our NHS stretched still further.

The size of the average living space becomes increasingly smaller, our roads become more crowded, the pressure to build on our beautiful countryside becomes higher.

When will you idiots realise that money can’t buy everything?

by Andy R on February 28, 2014 at 2:25 pm. Reply #

[…] Cameron’s determination to reduce net migration was always an odd pledge. As Vince Cable once wryly mused, “When you think about the logic of it: net immigration means reducing the number […]

by Stephen Tall: The immigration choice for the Conservatives – pro-business, or pro-UKIP? | MyGov.Co on March 11, 2014 at 7:18 am. Reply #

[…] (NB: the commitment to cut net immigration was never a Coalition target; only ever a target set by the Conservatives within the Coalition… A point emphasised by Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable in one of my favourite quotes by him.) […]

by Liberal Heroes of the Week #82: David Willetts and Douglas Carswell | CentreForum Blog on January 4, 2015 at 8:19 am. Reply #

[…] (NB: the commitment to cut net immigration was never a Coalition target; only ever a target set by the Conservatives within the Coalition… A point emphasised by Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable in one of my favourite quotes by him.) […]

by Liberal Heroes of the Week #82: David Willetts and Douglas Carswell on June 28, 2015 at 12:48 am. Reply #

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