Business Secretary Vince Cable has said that the government does have a role in supporting industry, but not in "just splashing around money".
He was speaking after car manufacturer Nissan announced a £125m investment in its plant at Sunderland, creating around 2000 jobs.
"We don't want to pick winners", he told the Today programme's Evan Davis, "but we do have some broad sectors which are doing very well" such as automobiles, aviation, life sciences and the creative industries.
He went on to say that the government is "getting behind" these industries, and while it is private sector led, "there are things government can do" in stimulating research and long-term supply chain thinking.
Questioned about preparations for the budget, he said he and his colleagues are "not ideologically wedded" to the 50p tax rate, " but if it goes, it "must be replaced by taxation by wealth".
A "mansion tax" would be an "economically sensible way of doing it", but that negotiations were still taking place.
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