Businesses (Financial Support)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:32 pm on 14th January 2009.

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Photo of Ian Pearson Ian Pearson Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Economic and Business), Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, Economic Secretary (Economic and Business), HM Treasury 12:32 pm, 14th January 2009

As always, my right hon. Friend makes some very good points. It is important that all the major banks take part in the various schemes. We have certainly been in discussion with them all on those issues. On the issue of lending to small businesses in particular, she will be aware of some of the decisions that were announced as a result, I believe, of Government pressure back at the end of November and early December about maintaining available lending. It is not just about the banks that take part in the recapitalisation process. The other major banks are making strong attempts to do the right thing by small businesses.

As my right hon. Friend rightly says, there is an issue about the credit economy and about the price of credit, which is why we believe that the working capital scheme is an appropriately and effectively targeted measure that will help many businesses in this country through these difficult times. Over the next few months, businesses will be looking to renew their credit facilities. The fact that there is a Government guarantee for existing and new credit lines will, I am sure, be welcomed by companies and it should be welcomed by this House.

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