Baroness Vadera apologises after detecting ‘green shoots’ of recovery

January 15th, 2009 - 10:26 am ICT by IANS  

Gordon BrownLondon, Jan 15 (IANS) A senior economic aide to British Premier Gordon Brown has been criticised after saying she sees “green shoots” of recovery amid the current economic downturn.”It’s a very uncertain world right now globally but I wouldn’t want to be the one predicting it. I am seeing a few green shoots. But it’s a little bit too early to say exactly how they’ll grow,” Baroness Shriti Vadera, junior business minister and one of Brown’s most powerful economic advisers, said Wednesday during an interview.

The Indian-origin ex-banker, who is known to be a tough taskmaster and a behind-the-scenes worker, made her comments on a day companies announced around 3,000 job losses, prompting a barrage of criticism from the opposition Conservative Party.

“For a Labour minister to be talking about the green shoots of recover on a day when thousands more people have lost their jobs is not only unbelievably insensitive but also begs the question on what planet this Labour government is living,” said George Osborne of the Conservatives.

Reminded that ‘green shoots of recovery’ was a phrase that former finance minister Norman Lamont was slated for using during the 1990s recession, Vadera said she was “sorry” if she had been misunderstood.

“I spend as a business minister all of my time focussing on how we help businesses, employers and, therefore, people and I would not want to be inconsiderate about that phrase.

“We were having a discussion on the credit market and I was pointing out that yesterday a company managed to raise hundreds of millions of pounds on the capital market which would have been inconceivable two months ago,” she explained.

Vadera’s comments came as Barclays announced that it was to cut 2,100 jobs, troubled carmaker Jaguar Land Rover said it was to lose 450 staff and the music chain Zavvi shed 353 jobs.

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