"I'm pleased that the Government and Bank of England are actively considering extensions to the Funding for Lending Scheme to boost lending further. Although it would have been nice to hear more details about how this is going to be implemented, it is a reassuring indication that the Government recognises the important role SMEs play in driving our economy, and is taking action to address the funding gap." "The Funding for Lending Scheme has already got more money flowing to small businesses; it has certainly helped Aldermore increase its SME lending to over £1bn in 2012. Extensions to the scheme, possibly in the form of a new business bank operating through challenger banks such as Aldermore, who champion the needs of SMEs, should help do even more to get the economy moving again. We look forward to working with the Treasury and Bank of England to help put these plans into practice." Commenting on today's budget, Charles Haresnape, Managing Director of Residential Mortgages at Aldermore said: "The government has long recognised the importance of getting the housing market moving once again and today's announcement of both Help to Buy and Mortgage Guarantee schemes have to be welcome developments. However, it will be interesting to see if, by themselves, they are enough to generate the desired effect. The UK housing market is still plagued by underlying issues such as a shortage of new housing and overpriced land values. It may be that the government has to also consider more fundamental changes if it wants to get the housing market moving once again." Commenting on today's budget, Damon Walford, Managing Director of Invoice Finance at Aldermore said: "As one of the lead sponsors and the only bank to support FairFuel UKs campaign to bring a halt to future fuel price increases, I'm delighted to see that the Chancellor has decided to scrap September's proposed increase in fuel duty. Not only will this be a welcome development for millions of motorists but it will also be a significant boost to the UK supply chain industry, meaning the costs of moving consumer products across the country should improve and will benefit the many thousands of small and medium sized businesses and of course the British public too." Commenting on today's budget, George Ashworth, Managing Director of Asset Finance at Aldermore, said: "It's encouraging to hear that the Treasury is looking to extend the Funding for Lending scheme. The scheme has proven its worth for homeowners and the focus must now also fall on small and medium sized businesses. The key issue, however, is the ability of this budget to stimulate economic growth. Despite the growth being downgraded to 0.6% this year, the forecast for 2014 is 1.8% rising to 2.3% the following year. However with the commitment from the Government to extend the scheme, the targets are something we can help work together to achieve. Commenting on today's budget, Rob Lankey, Managing Director of Commercial Mortgages at Aldermore,said: "Overall I believe this Budget creates a renewed opportunity for small businesses to be more confident about creating much needed jobs and investing in growth. I can see a number of measures to support small business including the plans to reduce Corporation tax by a 1% to 20% in April 2015, down from 28% per cent when the coalition came to power, showing "Britain is open for business"; Combine this with the new "employment allowance" for every company in the country, reducing their total employer national insurance by £2,000 each. This aids smaller businesses much more than bigger ones. After this is introduced, there is the potential for nearly half a million small businesses to no longer pay employer National Insurance at all in April 2014. Small businesses will also very much welcome the freeze on fuel duty. Overall the budget is positive for business and will hopefully be the nudge of confidence businesses need to take the next steps to invest in their businesses and people as they struggle to make profits in the face of the stagnating economy." For further information about Aldermore, our financial backers and our PR contacts, please review our Notes to Editors page.