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Mandelson regrets slow action on car industry support

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has stated that he wishes discussions with the Treasury and Bank of England regarding support for the car industry had gone quicker.

In an interview with the BBC Lord Mandelson said: “On giving financial liquidity to the car financing arms, I wish that discussions with the Treasury and the Bank of England – and it is the Bank of England that have pole position on this - had gone quicker than they have.

“But the discussions are none the less making progress and I hope that it will be possible for us to help those car finance arms because that goes hand in hand with our other efforts to help boost the car market and put a shot in the arm for a demand for cars.”

The Bank of England, which rarely responds publicly to criticism, issued a statement saying it was "puzzled" by remarks from Mandelson.

The statement from the central bank said: "It is not the role of the Bank to provide sector-specific support. That is clearly and properly a matter for the government."

Shadow Business Secretary Ken Clarke explained what he thought of Peter Mandelson's apparent criticism of the Treasury and Bank of England for not working fast enough to put the car financing bail out schemes in place.

Clarke spoke with the BBC: “It explains why the Government has not turned any of their plans to help the car industry into any reality.

“There’s scarcely a penny of assistance gone to the car industry and that is because the Treasury are not allowing Peter Mandelson to go ahead with help for the car finance companies.”

To watch the BBC's interview with Lord Mandelson click here. To watch the BBC's interview with Ken Clarke click here.



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