On The Sunday Politics today, Vince Cable told Andrew Neil that he disliked ring fencing particular departments. But he accepted that the NHS and DFID budgets would remain protected for the rest of this parliament
Cable, who joked that he was being fingered as a shop steward of the National Union of Ministers, made clear that he opposed any further welfare cuts. When asked about Philip Hammond’s comments that welfare should be cut not defence, Cable responded by saying that the Ministry of Defence should scrap Trident.
Interestingly, Cable conceded that capital spending was still too low and that he would push for further increases in it in the Budget. He indicated that George Osborne was sympathetic to this point of view. He also admitted that Britain’s manufacturing record was pretty terrible.
On his own ambition’s, Cable said that his working assumption was that Clegg would lead the Liberal Democrats into the next election. But he wouldn’t absolutely rule out himself becoming leader because Clegg might fall under a bus or something like that.