Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins has poured cold water on being too enthusiastic when talking about an improving economy.
Mr Hopkins attended a meeting of small businesses over breakfast at Leaside Hotel on Friday.
“Things seem to be getting better now,” Mr Hopkins told members of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
“A few years ago customers stopped going to restaurants and I hope things are picking up again now.”
But he told lutontoday he believes an uptick in the economy was more to do with people having to replace clapped out vans than to be reason for the government to cheer.
“People can go on for so long without replacing things like vans but there comes a point when they have to. I think this upturn is more to do with that at the moment.”
The meeting went on to discuss how Luton had lost a huge amount of manufacturing and what could be done about reviving the sector.
But Mr Hopkins, an economist, said: “Now the backbone of our economy is small business.
“I have always been a wage slave but I admire people who set up their own businesses and take a risk.”
He added that he believed creating a stable economy was vital but it is taking time to recover from “the verge of collapse of the financial sector”.