Traders slam PM’s credit crunch aid

PUBLISHED: 17:36 14 January 2009 | UPDATED: 09:06 12 August 2010

GORDON Brown s rescue package to stop more job cuts in small companies is a waste of time and too little too late , according to business owners. Business managers in Bromley say the Prime Minster s plans, which include £2,500 incentives for taking o

GORDON Brown's rescue package to stop more job cuts in small companies is a 'waste of time' and 'too little too late', according to business owners.

Business managers in Bromley say the Prime Minster's plans, which include £2,500 incentives for taking on unemployed workers and being guarantor for business bank loans, are not enough to stop spiralling redundancies and a further downslide in to recession.

Mr Brown's announcements to halt more job culls came as Land of Leather, which has a store in St Mary's Cray Avenue, Orpington, became the latest casualty of the failing economy, following music and DVD chain Zavvi and iconic store Woolworths, which both folded at the end of last year.

Carl Goddard, who owns Hype clothes shop in Widmore Street with his sister, Samantha, was sceptical the plan would work.

He said: "Giving businesses £2,500 is a waste of time unless he wants to pay salaries for the whole year. We have four shops but we are downsizing. We are laying people off rather than taking people on and I think that will be the same for a lot of businesses.

"There has definitely been a decrease in customers in here. But we own a shop in Covent Garden which is doing quite well because there are a lot of tourists who are spending money with the pound being low."

Ms Goddard said: "It would be good but we are not in a position to be recruiting. The jobs aren't there in the first place. We need to cut back."

Cycling store owner, Mark Pearce, who owns Bromley Bike Company in Widmore Road, Bromley, said: "There will be strings attached to the loans and to the £2,500 and I bet the forms are about 30 pages long. The jobs aren't there, people are looking to get rid of staff rather than taking them on. How will businesses get the money? I'm sure they won't go doling it out to every one. It's not a good idea to keep borrowing money, it's not good practice."

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has predicted the current unemployment level of 1.9 million will rocket to 3.1million in the next 18 months.

Last Wednesday, Marks and Spencer announced plans to axe its 27 'Simply Food' stores meaning up to 28 jobs in the Biggin Hill branch are at risk. Workers have been banned from talking to the press but one told the Times: "I am absolutely mortified. I left a good job to work here. We were told a couple of hours before the press. I have plenty of things to say but we aren't allowed to talk to the press."

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