Latest Vince Cable News

  • Women On Boards: 'Enormous' Progress Made
    Women On Boards: 'Enormous' Progress Made Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    A 25% target for the number of women on FTSE 100 company boards this year is close to being met already following "enormous" progress, according to the latest figures. The voluntary milestone was set by the former trade minister Lord Davies in 2011 following a review. Business Secretary Vince Cable, who has championed the cause, said just 17 more women were needed to be appointed this year to meet the 25% figure. Mr Cable said he expected to see further progress, with company boards made up of a third of women by 2020. More »

  • Banks To Carry On Closing Despite Cable Deal
    Banks To Carry On Closing Despite Cable Deal Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Britain's banks will pledge this week to continue investing in their branch networks "for decades to come" despite signing an agreement enabling them to close outlets even when they are the final one in a local community. Under the 'Access To Banking Protocol', a copy of which has been obtained by Sky News ahead of its release on Thursday, lenders will have to  provide 12 weeks’ notice of any branch closure and publish an assessment of the likely impact on its customer base. "Banks will publish the results of their engagement and impact assessment, and the considerations taken into account in assessing the impact of the branch closure, subject to the removal of commercially sensitive information," the document is expected to say. However, the agreement drawn up by officials working for Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, and the British Bankers' Association (BBA), is unlikely to stall the accelerating wave of branch closures being undertaken by major high street banks across the country. More »

  • Pennon Lures City Grandee Parker As New Chair
    Pennon Lures City Grandee Parker As New Chair Thu, Mar 19, 2015

    One of the UK's biggest publicly listed water companies has lured Sir John Parker, the architect of a new push to improve boardroom diversity, as its new chairman‎. Sky News has learnt that Pennon Group, which owns South West Water and Viridor, the waste-recycling company, will announce Sir John‎'s appointment on Friday. The news is likely to be well-received by shareholders in Pennon, which sits just outside the FTSE-100 index with a market capitalisation of £3.25bn. Sir John, who also chairs Anglo American‎, the much larger mining group, recently stepped down as the president of the Royal Academy of Engineering. More »

  • Banks And Cable Close To Branch Closure Pact
    Banks And Cable Close To Branch Closure Pact Wed, Mar 18, 2015

    Vince Cable will next week announce a deal with the major high street banks that will set out new guidelines for the controversial closure of hundreds of branches across the country. Sky News understands that the Business Secretary and the British Bankers' Association (BBA) are close to agreeing a final 'protocol' that will require lenders to give 12 weeks' notice of planned closures and publish a community impact assessment in each case. Sources said that Mr Cable was keen to unveil the deal before Whitehall goes into purdah towards the end of the month ahead of the General Election. It will include a commitment from banks that they will consult on the provision of alternative banking services such as a new ATM, credit unions and Post Office branches, which Mr Cable has said will become an increasingly important element of the UK's banking infrastructure. More »

  • Budget Will Deliver 'Truly National Recovery'
    Budget Will Deliver 'Truly National Recovery' Wed, Mar 18, 2015

    George Osborne has arrived at Parliament where he is preparing to give his last Budget speech before the election. The Chancellor has already cautioned voters there will be "no gimmicks, no giveaways" and his words were echoed this morning by the Business Secretary, who told Sky News there would be no "spectacular giveaway". Vince Cable insisted the measures contained in today's Budget were a "joint effort" between the Tories and the Liberal Democrats and that voters should not expect pre-election gifts. Mr Osborne will find himself with around £5bn to play with as the Budget deficit for 2015 is expected to be revised down from £75.9bn to £69bn. More »

  • Pay Growth Slows As Firms Pay Fewer Bonuses
    Pay Growth Slows As Firms Pay Fewer Bonuses Wed, Mar 18, 2015

    Official figures show pay growth has been hit by fewer bonus payments though the number of people in employment has reached a new record high. While the employment statistics provided more cheer for the Chancellor George Osborne on jobs, they also showed the recent recovery in wage growth had stalled with average earnings rising just 1.8% in the three months to January. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) cited weaker bonus payments and said that when the effects of bonuses were removed, annual earnings growth rose by 1.6% in November to January, slightly down on the previous month's reading. More »

  • Giveaways expected in last UK budget before election
    Giveaways expected in last UK budget before election Wed, Mar 18, 2015

    The British budget to be unveiled Wednesday will be driven by three certainties: death, taxes and the desire of incumbent governments to win re-election. Treasury chief George Osborne will, as tradition ... More »

  • Claudia wants Mandelson on Strictly
    Claudia wants Mandelson on Strictly Tue, Mar 17, 2015

    Strictly Come Dancing co-host Claudia Winkleman has cast her vote for an unlikely dancer in the next series of the show - former minister Lord Mandelson. More »

  • Osborne could unveil spending boost
    Osborne could unveil spending boost Tue, Mar 17, 2015

    Chancellor George Osborne has been putting the final touches to the last Budget of this Parliament, amid speculation that he will use it to blunt Labour's lines of attack in the upcoming general election battle. More »

  • Impact of cuts 'not understood'
    Impact of cuts 'not understood' Tue, Mar 17, 2015

    Whitehall officials have inflicted deep public spending cuts without fully understanding their impact on services, the head of Britain's value-for-money watchdog has said. More »

  • Minimum wage to rise 20p to £6.70
    Minimum wage to rise 20p to £6.70 Tue, Mar 17, 2015

    The national minimum wage is to increase by 20p an hour to £6.70, the biggest real-terms rise in seven years, the Government has announced. More »

  • Britain's Liberals upbeat as they prepare for pain
    Britain's Liberals upbeat as they prepare for pain Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    The Liberal Democrats, the junior party in Britain's government, tried to sound upbeat Sunday at their final conference before the general election, despite fears of a hammering come May 7. More »

  • Coalition 'made final decisions'
    Coalition 'made final decisions' Sat, Mar 14, 2015

    The final significant decisions of the coalition Government have already been taken, Nick Clegg declared as he warned George Osborne's future plans for the country's economy under a Tory majority would be "deeply regressive and unfair". More »

  • Pension trustees to join forces on 'Red Line' AGM votes Tue, Mar 10, 2015

    A British pensions trustee group said on Monday it had launched a "Red Line Voting" initiative to help smaller schemes and other investors take a more active stewardship role in the companies in which they invest. The plan by the Association of Member Nominated Trustees would help schemes join forces to vote through corporate change, and mirrors efforts from groups such as the Association of British Insurers, which issues "Red Top" and "Amber Top" alerts to flag areas of concern for their membership. The Red Lines, voting instructions that would apply to all the companies in which pension schemes invest, would cover the full range of environmental, social and governance issues. "Red Line Voting makes it easy for pooled fund managers to accept voting instructions from many clients," the AMNT said. More »

  • 'Colossal' Tory Cuts Will Hit NHS, Says Balls
    'Colossal' Tory Cuts Will Hit NHS, Says Balls Mon, Mar 9, 2015

    The "unprecedented" scale of Tory spending cuts would mean the NHS would end up footing the bill, the shadow chancellor has said. Ed Balls said the Conservatives would take the country back to the 1930s with "colossal" cuts that would amount to £70bn in the next parliament. He said: "Our analysis shows clearly - countries which reduce public spending at the pace George Osborne intends have found they have had no alternative but to cut health spending. In a speech in central London the shadow chancellor warned the cuts would lead to the smallest police force since comparable records began and the smallest Army since Oliver Cromwell's time. More »

  • Cameron's naive crusade for boardroom gender diversity will only hurt B …
    Cameron's naive crusade for boardroom gender diversity will only hurt B … Mon, Mar 9, 2015

    Company boards carry the primary responsibility to shareholders of ensuring a worthwhile return on their investment, so that they continue to provide the capital needed to finance their profit-making activities. The quality of the Board is a key factor in delivering strong corporate performance, as well as good corporate citizenship. In that year David Cameron became prime minister at the head of a Conservative-led coalition. He and others – notably Vince Cable, Business Secretary – spoke frequently about the 'need' for major companies to appoint more women onto their boards. More »

  • UK to lead European economy by 2035, Lib Dems pledge
    UK to lead European economy by 2035, Lib Dems pledge Mon, Mar 9, 2015

    Liberal Democrat leaders said they hope to make Britain the "powerhouse of Europe" within 20 years as they outlined plans for growth on Monday ahead of the May general election. More »

  • UK economy can beat Germany - Clegg
    UK economy can beat Germany - Clegg Mon, Mar 9, 2015

    The UK will overtake France and Germany to become Europe's biggest economy within 20 years under Liberal Democrat plans for growth, Nick Clegg will say today. More »

  • Osborne 'Regrets' Lack Of Radical RBS Reform
    Osborne 'Regrets' Lack Of Radical RBS Reform Fri, Mar 6, 2015

    The Chancellor has admitted he regrets not beginning a radical restructuring of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) following the last General Election. George Osborne also told the Financial Times he would look to "get rid of" the taxpayer's "massive" 80% stake following the coming election, should he remain in the post, but warned the process may take many years. One option Mr Osborne ultimately ignored was a recommendation to break-up RBS - favoured by the business secretary, Vince Cable in 2012. In 2013, RBS created its own so-called 'bad bank' to hold billions of pounds of its most risky assets. More »

  • Taxpayers To Meet £30m Bill For UK Coal Staff
    Taxpayers To Meet £30m Bill For UK Coal Staff Tue, Mar 3, 2015

    Taxpayers are poised to fund a multimillion pound bill to help workers at two of the UK's remaining deep coal mines as part of preparations for their closure, ministers are expected to disclose this week. Sky News understands that the Government will propose amendments to the Small Business Bill to facilitate so-called concessionary coal payments to hundreds of UK Coal workers. A source with knowledge of the latest plan said that if it proceeded, concessionary coal payments to workers at UK Coal collieries would be made in July and December. The development, which was the subject of talks in Whitehall on Tuesday, followed a pledge by George Osborne in 2013 to guarantee free coal deliveries or a substitute cash sum under a scheme dating back to the 1980s. More »

  • Spaceport location shortlist cut
    Spaceport location shortlist cut Tue, Mar 3, 2015

    Six sites which could become Britain's first spaceport have been announced by the UK Government. More »

  • Emwazi 'Best Employee We Had', Says Ex-Boss
    Emwazi 'Best Employee We Had', Says Ex-Boss Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    The former boss of the Briton identified in reports as the sadistic Islamic State killer "Jihadi John" has said he was "the best employee we ever had". Mohammed Emwazi was "very good with people" and was "calm and decent", according to the head of an IT firm in Kuwait, which hired the then 21-year-old as a salesman. More »

  • Jihadi John my best worker: IT boss
    Jihadi John my best worker: IT boss Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    The British graduate unmasked in reports as the Islamic State (IS) executioner known as Jihadi John was a model employee, "calm and decent" and "very good with people", his former boss has said. More »

  • Tax Break Cut To Pay For Labour Fees Pledge
    Tax Break Cut To Pay For Labour Fees Pledge Sat, Feb 28, 2015

    Ed Miliband has unveiled a Labour election pledge to cut student tuition fees by a third by reducing pension tax relief for higher earners. Under the party's plans, the cap on undergraduate fees would be reduced from £9,000 to £6,000 per year from September 2016. Mr Miliband told an audience of students in Leeds that the current funding system was landing graduates with debts running into tens of thousands of pounds. Labour's funding cut would be paid for by a reduction in pension tax relief for higher earners , Mr Miliband said. More »

  • Miliband pledges tuition fees cut
    Miliband pledges tuition fees cut Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    Ed Miliband today pledged to cut tuition fees to £6,000 a year if Labour wins the general election, as other parties lined up to rubbish the proposals. More »

  • Miliband To Unveil Tuition Fee Cut Promise
    Miliband To Unveil Tuition Fee Cut Promise Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    Ed Miliband will today outline Labour's election promise to reduce tuition fees - rolling back some of the increase which was implemented by the coalition. Under the party's plans, the cap on undergraduate fees would be reduced from £9,000 to £6,000 per year. Mr Miliband first expressed aspirations of introducing this policy in 2011 - and the shadow cabinet minister responsible for realising it, Chuka Umunna, described the process as "long and tortuous". At an audience with students in Leeds, the Labour leader will say: "We all know that under David Cameron and Nick Clegg, the fee cap for full-time undergraduates was trebled to £9,000 per year. More »

  • Nearly 700,000 On Zero-Hours Contracts
    Nearly 700,000 On Zero-Hours Contracts Wed, Feb 25, 2015

    The report from the Office for National Statistics found that a third of people on zero-hours contracts, which the unions claim are worth £300 a week less than permanent contracts, want more hours. Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Zero-hours contracts are valued by many employers and individuals who want flexibility in the hours they work, such as students, people with caring responsibilities and those who want to partially retire. More »

  • Zero-hours contracts rise to 1.8m
    Zero-hours contracts rise to 1.8m Wed, Feb 25, 2015

    The number of zero-hours contracts has increased from 1.4 million to 1.8 million, new figures have revealed. More »

  • Minimum Pay Recommended To Rise To £6.70 An Hour
    Minimum Pay Recommended To Rise To £6.70 An Hour Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    The minimum wage should be increased by 20p to £6.70 per hour, the body tasked with setting it has recommended. Business Secretary Vince Cable said the Government would now decide whether to adopt the Low Pay Commission's (LPC) recommendation and make an announcement later. Mr Cable said: "Today the Low Pay Commission have made their recommendations to Government that the adult national minimum wage should rise by just over 3% to £6.70 an hour from October 2015. "This would represent an annual pay rise of £416 for a full-time worker on the minimum wage. More »

  • 20p minimum wage rise recommended
    20p minimum wage rise recommended Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    The national minimum wage should be increased by 20p an hour to £6.70, the Low Pay Commission is recommending. More »

  • Mandelson warns over student fees
    Mandelson warns over student fees Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    Labour's former business secretary Lord Mandelson has fired a shot across the bows of the party's leadership over university tuition fees, warning that any cut in the amount paid by graduates must be offset by increases in higher education funding from other sources. More »

  • HSBC Issues Apology Over Banking Standards
    HSBC Issues Apology Over Banking Standards Mon, Feb 16, 2015

    HSBC has taken out adverts in national newspapers offering "sincerest apologies" over past activities at its Swiss operations. In the open letter to its customers, shareholders and colleagues, HSBC's group chief executive Stuart Gulliver described recent media coverage about practices at the Swiss Private Bank eight years ago as a "painful experience". Vince Cable told Sky's Murnaghan programme that what emerged is "striking and unacceptable" - and he has called on former HSBC boss Lord Green to answer specific allegations about the business. The full-page HSBC advert states: "We would like to provide some reassurance and state some of the facts that lie behind the stories. More »

  • Transparency urged on trade deal
    Transparency urged on trade deal Mon, Feb 16, 2015

    More transparency is needed on negotiations between the European Union and the United States on a controversial new trade deal, the Government has admitted. More »

  • Labour tax claims 'small beer'
    Labour tax claims 'small beer' Sun, Feb 15, 2015

    Ed Balls has dismissed allegations of tax-dodging by Labour as "small beer", as the bitter row with the Tories over wealthy backers showed no sign of abating. More »

  • HSBC says sorry over past standards at Swiss bank
    HSBC says sorry over past standards at Swiss bank Sun, Feb 15, 2015

    By Paul Sandle and Steve Slater LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC apologised to customers and investors on Sunday for past practices at its Swiss private bank after allegations that it helped hundreds of clients to dodge taxes. "(Green) hasn't yet spoken on his role in the matter and I would certainly like him to do so," Cable said on Sunday. More »