HC Deb 09 March 1981 vol 1000 cc606-7
9. Mr. Heddle

asked the Secretary of State for Industry when he expects to be able to announce details of the loan guarantee scheme for small businesses.

Sir Keith Joseph

The Government hope to announce a decision on a loan guarantee scheme shortly.

Mr. Heddle

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that answer, and without wishing to peer more closely into his immediate political crystal ball, may I ask if he agrees that the broad, resilient, but patient shoulders of small businesses have for too long borne the major brunt of the recession and the belt and braces attitude of the banks? Is he aware that the time cannot come too quickly for the announcement to be made? Does he further agree that when it is implemented the loan guarantee scheme should go to manufacturing and productive industry that is capable of creating jobs, and not to those who specialise in share and property speculation, as may have happened 10 years or so ago?

Sir Keith Joseph

I hear what my hon. Friend says.

Mr. Dykes

Does my right hon. Friend think that a loan guarantee scheme can be as important as lower interest rates and greater bank finance in general?

Sir Keith Joseph

I am sure that lower interest rates, provided that they reflect the market, would be a great help to industry, large and small.