In his Autumn Statement on 29 November, he also announced that from April 2013 Climate Change agreement participants will see the levy relief on electricity rise to 90% as part of a £250million support package for energy-intensive firms.

The Chancellor laid out plans for a credit-easing scheme to underwrite up to £40bn in low-interest loans to small and medium-sized firms. He also announced a £1bn business finance partnership to help secure funding for medium-sized firms. The business rate relief for small firms, which was due to end in October 2012, is to be extended to April 2013.

To encourage investment in start-up companies the Government will launch a new Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) from April 2012, offering 50% income tax relief on investments. It will also offer a capital gains tax exemption on gains realised in 2012 – 2013 that are then invested through SEIS in the same year. In addition, the Government will simplify and refocus the Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trusts.

There would be an additional £1bn in extra funding for regional growth regeneration.

The chancellor has also announced a £1bn package to tackle youth unemployment over the next three years. The youth contract will provide nearly half a million extra opportunities including apprenticeships and work experience placements. One of the key measures offers 160,000 job subsidies worth up to £2, 275 each for businesses that take on an 18 – 24 year old from the work programme.