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The general consensus among the business community is that, while the 2009 Budget contained some useful measures, it did not do enough to tackle the problems facing both the economy and individual firms.

Responding to concerns that smaller firms are struggling with problems of credit risk, the government is setting up a trade credit insurance scheme.

The Chancellor has extended a scheme aimed at helping loss-making firms ease their cashflow worries by enabling them to reclaim taxes paid on profits during the last three years.

Future tax rises were always likely to be on the agenda as the Chancellor seeks to reassure the international money markets that he has plans laid to reduce the UK’s huge borrowing deficit.

The Chancellor was forced to revise his estimates for the rate at which the UK economy will shrink this year.

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