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Lib Dem conference news

06:30 24 September 2012

File photo dated 18/04/11 of Business Secretary Vince Cable (right) and Labour leader Ed Miliband (left) as Vince Cable has dismissed criticism over text messages he exchanged with opposition leader Ed Miliband. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday September 14, 2012. Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell warned the Business Secretary that such communication could undermine the coalition by aggravating already disgruntled Tory backbenchers. See PA story POLITICS Cable. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

File photo dated 18/04/11 of Business Secretary Vince Cable (right) and Labour leader Ed Miliband (left) as Vince Cable has dismissed criticism over text messages he exchanged with opposition leader Ed Miliband. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday September 14, 2012. Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell warned the Business Secretary that such communication could undermine the coalition by aggravating already disgruntled Tory backbenchers. See PA story POLITICS Cable. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

NEW BANK: Business secretary Vince Cable will today announce the creation of a government-backed bank to invest in UK private enterprise.

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He will also say that the government has found £1bn of new money to be invested through the bank, which will also aim to lever in further private sector funding.

Mr Cable said: “We need a British business bank with a clean balance sheet and a mandate to expand lending rapidly and we are now going to get it.”

PENSION PLAN: The Liberal Democrats have said they want to explore the idea of allowing middle-aged parents to borrow against lump-sums in their pension so that they can offer their children money for a deposit on a house.

The plan is not yet official party policy, but insiders claim it has received a positive reception from pension and mortgage providers.

BAG TAX: Lib Dem conference passed a motion yesterday calling for a new levy on plastic bags. The proceeds would pay for “community food initiatives”.

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