Business welcome for Clegg's 'government bank' proposal

by Stephen Tall on November 20, 2008

Nick Clegg’s proposal yesterday for the government to lend directly to companies through the Post Office, local authorities or even by creating an entirely new bank triggered a vigorous debate here on Lib Dem Voice.

One group which has given it a very warm welcome is the Federation of Small Businesses – witness this report from myfinances.co.uk:

Spokesperson for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Stephen Alambritis, said: “We support the intervention of the Liberal Democrats leader. The banks are not coming up with the goods despite the bank recapitalisation. We agree small businesses should have more alternatives.”

The FSB said it has proposed its own plan on ensuring small firms have access to credit through Regional Development Agencies but said funds made available through local authorities or the Post Office would also be acceptable.

“It is important small businesses have money,” Mr Alambritis warned. “They are not getting it from their banks.”

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I think the previous thread is an excellent airing of the issues which I won’t repeat here. The comments from the FSB are a rather luke warm endorsement. If my small business needed money I wouldn’t be bothered which state agency was doling it out either. But as the Spokesperson said there is already a state agency capable of doing this without the need for another.

However my main concern is trying to get a solid, philosophical message going which is the only way to generate a long term support base. If the rhetoric of the last year has all been about a smaller more limited state and then you start calling for the creation of a new government bank at the first sign of grapeshot then this won’t happen.

by David Morton on November 20, 2008 at 7:42 pm. Reply #

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