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John Denham MP, Labour's Shadow Business Secretary, today revealing Bank of England figures that show the Tory-led Government has failed to get banks lending to small businesses, said:

“The figures show the Government’s policies risk being too little too late for businesses across the UK”

“Today’s growth announcement by the Tory-led Government is little consolation for small businesses hurt by this Tory-led Government's failure to get lending going. Any help for small business is welcome, but this does not go far enough.

"In Opposition the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats noisily complained about bank lending. In Government this has been matched by eight months of backtracking and inaction until this hasty, half-baked announcement for the New Year recess.

“The Government is paralysed by division. Minsters of this Conservatives led-Government and its Liberal Democrat supporters are too busy in-fighting are not listening to business. They are out of touch with what is happening on the high street and the factory floor. This inaction will harm private sector growth.

“They’ve dropped their idea for net lending targets and failed to bring in Labour’s plans for a small business adjudicator for fair treatment in lending. Only last month the small businesses Minister off-loaded responsibility again, saying it was up to MPs to contact banks when businesses are experiencing lending difficulties. Telling businesses to contact their MP is a pathetic admission of defeat.

“2011 will be tough for small businesses with difficult lending conditions, an unnecessary VAT increase and the knock-on effects from cuts to public spending. The Tory-led Government must get its act together on lending  or its  announcements will be too little, too late.”

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