The UK government’s Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has admitted he wished talks with the Treasury and Bank of England on help for car financing schemes had ‘gone quicker’.
He told the BBC in an interview that discussions were ‘making progress and went hand in hand with efforts to give the car industry a boost’.
And he said the the Bank of England and Treasury were ‘doing their best’ but it was a ‘very complex area’.
Car manufacturers have been lobbying for help for their finance arms and a lack of finance has been blamed for preventing them from raising the money needed to fund new car purchases.
Lord Mandelson has been criticised by the opposition Conservatives for only saying that he was ‘looking at steps’ to improve car financing arms’ access to funding.
In the BBC interview Lord Mandelson also said the government was ‘looking at’ the possibilities of a car scrapping scheme (a scrappage scheme in Germany is already in operation and helped the car market there to grow 21% in February).
Asked about help for financing arms of car manufacturers he told the BBC: “I wish our discussions with the Treasury and the Bank of England – and it is the Bank of England that is in pole position on this – had gone quicker than they have. I readily acknowledge that.
“The discussions are nonetheless making progress and I hope that it will be possible to help those car financing arms because that goes hand in hand with our other efforts to boost this market and give a shot in the arm for the demand for cars.”
Asked if the Treasury and the Bank of England were holding things up, he said: “I wouldn’t put it in that way, no, because they are our colleagues and they’re doing their best to find the right area, but I can assure you this is a very complex area.”
See also: Dave’s blog