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Cable: Estate agents are like biblical marauders

Julia Rampen
Written By:
Julia Rampen

Vince Cable compared estate agents to biblical armies in an unrepentant speech to his party yesterday afternoon.

He was speaking after Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and treasury secretary Danny Alexander tried to play down his criticism of the Help to Buy scheme.

The business secretary said it had taken years to get out of the financial crisis: “We must not now settle for a short-term spurt of growth fuelled by old-fashioned property boom and bankers rediscovering their mojo. We’ve seen it all before.”

Comparing himself to the ‘weeping’ Old Testament prophet Jeremiah, Cable continued: “Gordon Brown’s new Jerusalem was overcome by an army of estate agents, property speculators and bankers.

“The problem we now have is the invaders are back. They have a bridgehead in the London and the South East of England and they’ve got to be stopped.”

However, Cable acknowledged the need for more houses. “If sustainable recovery is to be achieved we must meet the enormous challenge of house building,” he said.

Cable has repeatedly warned that his own government’s Help to Buy scheme could cause a housing bubble. 

However deputy prime minister Clegg defended the scheme as a way to help creditworthy borrowers onto the housing ladder.