Focusing on the future was the emphasis of this year's Budget announcement, which unveiled some good news for the UK's small businesses.
Alistair Darling appeared to have his sights firmly set on the future as the chancellor briefly discussed the effect the economic downturn has had on Britain's businesses and families, and said his announcement was all about "making the big decisions for the future".
"I'm confident about the future, I think government can make a real difference, it can't do it all itself, it needs people, it needs imagination, it needs flair - but government can make a difference to the future of our country for the next ten or 20 years," he said.
Mr Darling explained that the UK's economy is currently at a "cross-roads" and after coming through the global recession, the Budget 2010 will set out a road to "long-term prosperity" for the UK.
"At the heart of our decisions is a belief that government should not stand aside, but instead help people and businesses achieve their ambitions," he added.
Among the announcements to benefit the country's small businesses was the introduction of a one-off £2.5 billion growth package.
The chancellor explained that the fund, which will be used to support business start-ups and growing small businesses, would be paid for in part by the extra proceeds that the bankers' bonus tax created.
This one-off tax yielded more than £2 billion, much more than the government had anticipated.
Mr Darling said he hoped the growth fund would help small businesses "promote innovation and invest in national infrastructure and key skills".
The government also announced that its Time to Pay initiative, which allows business to delay payment of their outstanding tax bills, will continue to be offered to those in need of support.
Small businesses also stand to benefit from streamlined financial support, after Mr. Darling announced the launch of UK Finance for Growth, which will be responsible for creating a more efficient system for £4 billion worth of finance products that are currently available to smaller firms.
The chancellor said this would go some way to "ensuring one coherent portfolio of government-backed funds supporting businesses across the country".
Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, the two banks that are now partially-owned by taxpayers following the recession, have also agreed to lend £105 billion to homebuyers and businesses over the next 12 months.
Commenting on the effects of the recession, Mr. Darling appeared in a bullish mood and was adamant that the government had taken the correct course of action to protect the economy.
"Governments have the ability to act - and I believe the responsibility - to reduce the length and severity of the recession," he said.
"This is why we took decisive action to stimulate the economy, cutting taxes for families and business, as well as bringing forward capital spending. We also introduced initiatives such as the car scrappage scheme to protect jobs and skills."
He added: "This helped drive an increase in sales of nearly 30 per cent in the past year. These decisions, of course, have a cost. But the cost would have been far greater, for families and the economy, if we had failed to act."
However, the Budget was blasted by the Liberal Democrats, who said it was a "political dodge" rather than an economic plan.
Nick Clegg, the party's leader, said: "Britain needed a Budget that gave us honesty in spending and fairness in tax, we have got neither.
Commenting on the launch of UK Finance for Growth, Mr Clegg added: "Rather than forcing the nationalised banks to lend to good British businesses they have chosen to create a feeble quango to arbitrate between bullying banks and their small business clients."
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