Britain mulls second aid package to ease credit squeeze

January 13th, 2009 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 13 (DPA) The British government confirmed Tuesday that it was planning a fresh aid package to unlock the credit squeeze by offering loan guarantees to small-and medium-sized businesses.The measures, believed to entail as much as 20 billion pounds ($29.6 billion) were discussed by the cabinet Tuesday and could be announced later this week.

Discussion of the new package coincided with Tuesday’s visit to London of Ben Bernanke, the chief of the US Federal Reserve.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown was due to discuss the global economy with Bernanke, whose example of drastic interest rate cuts has been taken up by the Bank of England.

Brown is to have talks in Berlin Thursday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Meanwhile, a survey of British business leaders released Tuesday painted a bleak picture of the severity of the economic downturn.

A survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) of 6,000 firms showed that businesses reported “plummeting confidence” in the last three months of 2008 and feared a “frightening deterioration” in the economic situation.

In a separate report, retailers said they have seen the worst sale results for 14 years in December.

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