“This is a welcome boost to the economy, which is only possible because the Coalition Government has taken tough action to put the nation’s finances on a stable footing.

“Liberal Democrats have been calling on banks to lend more to SMEs in order to boost the economy. Thanks to Business Secretary Vince Cable significant steps have already been taken to get the banks lending again.

“These are unprecedented times with continued turmoil in the eurozone. This announcement will help our economy weather the storm on our doorstep by building on the trust we’ve gained from the markets with our determination to deal with our debts.

“I look forward to seeing the details of the two schemes, which I hope will help hard-pressed businesses and families access the credit they need.”