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Derek Twigg, MP for Halton

Working Hard for Widnes, Runcorn & Hale

Derek forces Chancellor into policy U-turn on supporting local businesses

11 Oct 2011

On Monday, Derek used the opportunity of questioning the Chancellor of the Exchequer to expose a major Government policy U-turn on support for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in these challenging economic times.

During George Osborne's statement to the Commons on 10th October about the growing eurozone crisis, Mr Twigg reminded the Chancellor that he had pressed the issue of small businesses in Halton struggling with the economic crisis and the lack of bank lending and support with him on September 12th - before the Chancellor's speech to the Tory Conference announcing 'credit easing' help for firms.

Derek asked him what had changed in the past three weeks to force the Chancellor to make this U-turn, adding;

"If the policy he announced then turns out to be a practical source of exta help, I will welcome it, but he made no mention of it on 12 September and seemed to suggest that enoiugh was being done anyway." 

In reply, Mr Osborne merely said: "I always listen closely to my Cheshire colleagues."

When Derek asked the Chancellor on 12th September what he proposed to do to support small businesses facing the obstinacy of banks refusing to lend to them, Mr Osborne referred to the various schemes designed to prop up lending.  However, his announcement during his speech to the Conservative Party Conference on 3rd October pledging 'credit easing' support for small businesses, was an effective admission of failure of the Government's flagship Project to deliver the goods, which has seen net lending to business fall, month by month.

Commenting further on the Commons exchanges, Derek said:

"I am pleased that George Osborne appears to have listened to me and concerns of local SMEs in announcing this Government U-turn on support for local businesses, like those I visited during the summer recess.

Whilst it is interesting that he is saying he listens closely to fellow Cheshire MPs, I am concerned that this Tory-led Government should have been doing more sooner to support our small businesses more effectively at this difficult time and build up their capacity for a return to growth. I shall therefore await with interest the Chancellor's specific proposals on credit easing support for SMEs, and will examine the precise details very closely."

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