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PM reveals small business and mortgage reforms

The Prime Minister Gordon Brown has today revealed the Government is to make reforms to the Mortgage Conduct of Business rules and to the UK banks’ principles towards small businesses.

At his monthly press conference, Brown announced that Business secretary Peter Mandleson will this afternoon launch a bank statement on the principles on small business lending. He also says that the Government will “build” on the mortgage code: “there will also be more reassurance that people will not be repossessed,” says Brown.

The Prime Minister also urged national and world fiscal stimuli to be initiated to solve the current global economic crisis as he prepares for upcoming G20 conference in Washington this weekend.

He says: “Fiscal stimulus is needed to take action and to move forward. We have taken action and we are prepared to look at more action. One-off initiatives aren’t going to make a difference.

“We need a co-operative global response,” he says, “and because this is a global crisis British people will benefit best from actions taken all around the world.”

He denied that any UK fiscal stimulus was a funded tax cut and refuted Tory alternatives to his plans. “A fiscal stimulus is action that is initially unfunded, it is not a funded tax cut,” he says, “its aim is to get the economy moving. What the Conservatives propose is contradictory and ill-thought through. Their figures do not add up.”

Brown also played down recession fears and argued against the IMF’s prediction that the UK recession will be longer and deeper than most other nations. He says: “The action we are taking over the coming weeks and months will influence growth patterns over the next year.”

But he could not deny that there would not be tax hikes in the near future: “It is too early to judge conclusions for two years or even three years’ time.”


Sum failure for pension calculator

The ABI/FSA online pension calculator has not been running for two months and neither the FSA nor ABI can say when it will be operating again. ABI spokesman Jon French says the ABI is looking to fix the calculator as soon as possible but he is unable to give a specific timescale.


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