More government work to go to SMEs

Chancellor Alistair Darling offered the last Budget of the current administration before the General Election takes place taking care to outline many attempts by the Government to balance the books while still putting forth funds to help stimulate the economic recovery.

Darling did not mention what the Labour plans spending cuts would affect in terms of education and health but instead said that the settlement after the election will be one of the hardest in the last few decades.

There were a few smaller cuts announced that affected the NHS IT system which he confirmed will go ahead as scheduled.

A few other budget points mentioned include the award of 15% of all central government contracts to SMEs which could bring in £15b worth of new business in the public sector.

Also announced was the UK Finance for Growth Investment Corporation which will be used to improve and streamline the way the government is able to offer aid to SMEs.

Other budget measures addressed was the implementation of the new Growth Capital Fund which will offer firms that are currently growing private capital eventually offering around £500m in finance.

By the end of 2010 the Government also plans to publish all contracts in the public sector online if they are worth over £20,000.

Darling also estimated to the House of Commons that the economy will continue to grow anywhere from 1% to 1.5%this year with a larger growth ration in 2011 of somewhere between 3% and 3.5%.