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Chancellor delivers £1bn SME finance fund

Microscope contributor

The Chancellor, Alistair Darling has showed that he has the ability to listen to small business demands after unveiling a £1bn SME finance package.

The Federation of Small Business (FSB) has been pushing for the £1bn fund arguing that more help is needed above and beyond the current £360m small business loan scheme.

An FSB spokeswoman told MicroScope last week that it had been proposing the fund to try and improve the liquidity in the market.

“Small businesses are not able to get loans as they are not always available to them from the banks and the costs of finance are being pushed up,” she said.

In the pre-budget report the chancellor unveiled a temporary £1bn scheme among other measures to try and get banks doing more for lenders.

The centre piece of the chancellor’s session in the Commons was VAT with it being cut from 17.5% to 15% until the end of next year. He said that it expected retailers to pass on the cut to customers.

Darling also cut forecasts of growth in the UK economy to between -0.75% and -1.25% next year.


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