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I'm committed to coalition: Cable

Vince Cable has insisted he is "positively committed" to the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition Government.

The Lib Dem Business Secretary shrugged off his previous claim that he could bring down the alliance by walking out of the Cabinet, saying he is "not thinking in that negative way at all".

His comments come ahead of his keynote speech to the Lib Dems' annual conference in Birmingham, when he will take on the unjustified pay and perks of top company executives.

Asked whether he still felt he held a veto over coalition policy as his resignation would bring down the coalition - as he told undercover reporters last year - Mr Cable said: "I don't think in those negative terms, actually.

"I think of it positively, I'm positively committed to the coalition. We have got a long haul, a major task sorting out the economy and at the same time delivering fairness. We have got to get that balance right."

In his speech to Lib Dem activists, Mr Cable will take aim at corporate "rewards for failure" as he sets out plans for firms to be forced to publicly justify handing out multimillion-pound packages.

New rules will require the total value of salary, shares, pensions and bonuses to be set out clearly every year. From October firms must disclose the criteria used to determine their huge reward packages.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4, he said that giving shareholders a veto over the deals is "one of the options" and that he is "well-disposed" to the idea.

"What we want to do is reward success in business. We want entrepreneurs to succeed, be properly rewarded, risk-takers, inward investment," he said. "What we do not want is rewards for failure, and the pattern over the last decade or so has been that there has been a massive increase in executive pay, management pay - 400% over a decade at a time when share prices for the owners have not increased at all and basic pay has not increased."

Mr Cable also played down the prospect of further austerity measures despite a report in the Financial Times that the Government is facing a new £12 billion black hole in its figures. He said he did not recognise the figures, adding: "There is actually quite a lot of flexibility built into our existing fiscal plans and it's very difficult to envisage circumstances in which the Government would want to deflate the economy or take demand out of the economy."

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