Cable tells Vauxhall plants . . . YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN!

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BUSINESS Secretary Cable has warned General Motors that the planned development of the Ellesmere Port and Luton car plants will not get government support.

This was confirmed by a Business Department spokesperson yesterday, who said: ‘To date Vauxhall has not approached the government for support for the Ampera.

‘As the Business Secretary has said we are keen to see the ultra-low carbon Ampera car made in the UK.

‘Companies need to stand on their own two feet, but our door is not closed for conversations.’

Cable had said earlier, on Monday: ‘I think where we can be more helpful, instead of dolloping out money, which is no longer an option, is in helping with things like training.’

Loan guarantees promised to General Motors by the previous government before the election, were cancelled by GM after a projected deal with Germany collapsed and GM said it could now finance its own operations.

Cable said on Monday: ‘If they do approach me, then we are perfectly happy to have a conversation with them.

‘But we are not promising things, we need to be clear about that.’

He added: ‘We have only been in government for a few weeks but Labour people are standing up and saying “What are you doing about manufacturing?” It’s an absolute joke.

‘Manufacturing declined as a share of the economy under their oversight from 20 per cent to around 12 per cent, we have got to try to turn that round.

‘It’s a big task but we have got to try to do it.’

Cable said he met Ratan Tata and was ‘determined that we have very good relations’ with Tata conglomerate, the owner of Jaguar Land Rover and Corus.

Cable warned: ‘We don’t want to go around the country waving a cheque-book.

‘We’re moving away out of an emergency time, and support will come in more indirect ways.

‘Not in direct support for companies – we don’t have the funding to do that, and it isn’t good policy anyway.’

Cable said of GM’s plans for the Ampera: ‘I am not closing the door to conversations, but we can’t give money to every company that asks for it.’