Clegg pledges £250m extra for business lending

Nick Clegg Many firms have struggle for investment, Nick Clegg will says

Related Stories

The government has pledged to put an extra £250m into the British Business Bank in a bid to help small and medium-sized companies benefit from the economic recovery.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the money, coming on top of £1bn last year, would allow greater funds for investment and taking on staff.

The bank, to be backed by government guarantees, will be based in Sheffield.

Mr Clegg, an MP in the city, promised to do "all we can" to help firms.

But Labour says the government's austerity package has damaged growth and that ministers have not done enough to ensure banks lend enough to small and medium-sized businesses.

The British Business Bank is in the process of being set up by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and says it expects to generate more than £500m in new lending and investment for the UK's smaller businesses each year.

'Working hard'

Mr Clegg's announcement comes ahead of Thursday's Autumn Statement, in which Chancellor George Osborne will present the government's plans for the economy and growth predictions from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.

He is expected to curb business rates as part of the package, as well as outline plans to reduce household energy bills.

Mr Clegg will say the British Business Bank will be able to leverage the capital and use government guarantees to lend much higher sums.

He and his fellow Liberal Democrat, Business Secretary Vince Cable, are due to outline the plans in more detail on a visit to a small business in west London later on Monday,

Mr Clegg said: "Small businesses are working hard to fuel our recovery and help us build a stronger economy.

"I am determined that we do all we can to help companies that have struggled to get the investment they need - investment that means they can employ those extra people, take on that new order, and buy new equipment."

Last week, The Bank of England announced significant changes to the Funding for Lending Scheme because of the surging housing market.

Governor Mark Carney it would no longer be aimed at householders but would be focusing instead on business lending from January.

For Labour, Chuka Umunna, shadow business secretary, said the government "has failed to get lending going to businesses, in particular smaller firms, with business lending falling by more than £12 billion in the last year".

"Now into their fourth year in office, scheme after scheme trumpeted by Ministers has failed to significantly improve access to finance for our wealth creators.

"Labour is backing plans for a proper British Investment Bank supported by a network of regional and local banks so that firms across Britain can get the finance they need to invest and grow."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Politics stories

RSS

Politics Live

  1.  
    07:20: 'Dirtiest campaign' The Independent

    Ukip leader Nigel Farage says this general election could be the "dirtiest" campaign in British history. Writing in the Independent, he accused the Conservatives and Labour of employing "attack-campaign" election strategists and "hurling hundreds of thousands of pounds at Facebook and twitter".

     
  2.  
    07:07: Funeral film BBC Radio 4

    The TV pictures of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral remain "compelling viewing" 50 years on, James Rowland from BBC Archive says. There was a "little bit of damage" on the original film and dirt that had to be cleaned off, he tells Radio 4's Today, prior to its rebroadcast on BBC Parliament today. He reflects on the fairly rudimentary camerawork used in 1965, compared to today's standards, remarking that the pictures seem "slightly twitchy".

     
  3.  
    07:06: Churchill event timings

    Here are some of the 50th anniversary timings if you want to plan your day:

    • The Houses of Parliament will host a remembrance service and wreath-laying ceremony at 09:00 GMT
    • BBC Parliament is re-broadcasting the state funeral, which runs for a little over four hours, at 09:15 GMT.
    • Tower Bridge will be raised at 12:45 GMT as the Havengore repeats its 1965 journey from the Tower of London to Westminster
    • Westminster Abbey will host a ceremony from 18:00 GMT, with flowers laid at the green marble stone placed there in memorial to Churchill.
     
  4.  
    06:58: Churchill anniversary
    The Havengore carrying Sir Winston Churchill's coffiin along the Thames

    A bit more about what's happening in London later to mark the 50th anniversary of the state funeral of Sir Winston Churchill. The Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey will both host remembrance services, and there'll be a ceremony recreating the flotilla which carried Churchill's coffin along the Thames from the Tower of London to Westminster Pier. Members of Churchill's family will travel along the Thames on the Havengore, which carried his coffin 50 years ago.

     
  5.  
    06:51: 'Three parent baby law'
    Daily Telegraph

    And the Daily Telegraph's lead is on concern from the Church of England that legislation is being rushed through to allow children to be born with three genetic "parents". The technique - mitrochondrial DNA transfer - is being promoted as a way to combat a series of inherited medical conditions.

     
  6.  
    06:45: 'Religious slaughter of animals'
    The Times

    Meanwhile, the Times leads on a big rise in the number of food animals slaughtered without stunning. The British Veterinary Association - which wants the practice banned from Britain - says the number of animals killed in this way has risen by 60%. The paper says this is because of campaigning by Muslims for traditional slaughter methods.

     
  7.  
    06:41: 'Migrant voting power'
    The i

    Migration is the focus of the i newspaper. It says immigrants could decide the result in 70 marginal seats, and Conservatives fear "migrant voting power" could cost them the election.

     
  8.  
    06:36: 'Gas bill rip-off'
    Daily Express

    It's a "gas bill rip-off" for the Daily Express, which says figures show the big six energy suppliers are enjoying bumper profits, as temperatures plummet. The paper says the big firms will pocket an extra £114 per household in the coming year.

     
  9.  
    06:34: The newspapers
    The Guardian

    A quick look at what's making the headlines in the newspapers. Energy prices take a prominent place in a few, with the Guardian saying real take-home pay is less now than it was in 2001, according to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Men and young workers have noticed the greatest fall in spending power, the paper adds.

     
  10.  
    06:28: Missed Newsnight and This Week?

    Don't worry if you weren't glued to your telly seven hours ago - you can catch up with the full editions of Question Time and This Week by clicking on the 'Live Coverage' tab on this page.

     
  11.  
    06:24: Cameron tribute to Churchill
    Winston Churchill statue outside parliament

    Last night Downing Street released the text of the message on the wreath David Cameron will lay at the statue of Winston Churchill, which stands just outside the Commons chamber. The PM has written: "Britain was so incredibly fortunate that in our hour of greatest need there came forward one of our greatest ever statesmen. 50 years on the light has not dimmed. David Cameron."

     
  12.  
    06:22: Churchill anniversary
    Richard Dimbleby Richard Dimbleby commentating on Sir Winston Churchill's state funeral for the BBC

    Fifty years to the day, BBC Parliament is re-broadcasting the state funeral of the UK's wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill. Introduced by Sir Winston's grandson, Sir Nicholas Soames, the historic broadcast runs for a little over four hours. Fourteen reels of film, complete with impeccable commentary by Richard Dimbleby, have been restored, joined and re-mastered. The showing starts at 09:15 GMT.

     
  13.  
    06:20: Good morning Alex Hunt Politics editor, BBC News Online

    Hello and welcome to a fresh day's coverage of political developments ahead of the 7 May General Election - yes there's just 97 days to go now. You'll be able to listen or watch all the BBC's political output today on this page and we'll be bringing you all the best clips, quotes, analysis, reaction and breaking political news throughout the day. If you want to see what to expect, here's yesterday's campaign countdown.

     

Features

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.