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22 March 2012
Yesterday’s budget was meant to put Britain back on the path to growth and recovery. The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) has set out in its forecasts what that path might look like. As the government’s watchdog on public finances, its primary function is to ensure that the government is meeting its fiscal mandate during this period of austerity. But as the governments’ fiscal target is to eliminate the structural deficit by 2016/17, one of the key judgements they are required to make is the size of the output gap.
20 March 2012
In the run-up to the Budget, the Chancellor has announced the launch of the National Loan Guarantee Scheme as part of his credit easing plans to help the economy grow. The scheme guarantees, in the first instance, £5bn of funds (which is to increase to up to £20bn depending on the success of the scheme) for companies with a turnover of up to £50m at interest rates discounted by 100 basis points. The Federation of Small Businesses has recently reported that 60% of small businesses felt that credit was unaffordable – thus, this scheme should go some way to help reduce that burden.