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UK Politics

Budget 2014: Help for exporters doubled to £3bn

Chancellor promises 'most competitive export finance in the world'

The Chancellor moved to help exporters by doubling a government loan scheme designed to support Britain’s exporters to £3bn, while interest on that debt will be cut by one third.

George Osborne said that exports are growing faster than the UK’s international competitors, but added that the country was “starting from a low base”.

The Chancellor said: “Instead of having the least competitive export finance in the world, we will have the most competitive export finance in the world.”

The Direct Lenders Scheme was introduced in the 2012 Autumn Statement, allowing exporters access to state loans of up to £50 million.

Many businesses had struggled to secure finance from traditional sources, such as banks, in the wake of the crisis, even if they had good export opportunities.

Steve Varley, managing director at Big Four accountant EY, hailed the Government for having “lots of ambition for exports”.

Mr Osborne is particularly hoping for improving exports to fast-growing emerging economies, such as China, India, and Brazil.