In his article for The Observer the Conservative leader starts what he promises will be a number of policy announcements over coming months to help families, homeowners and entrepreneurs.

Today he highlights four ways in which help can and should be delivered to the "small and medium-sized businesses [who] employ over 13 million people and turn over £1,440bn a year":

  1. More local authorities should make faster payments to small business.  Mr Cameron salutes Brentwood and Castlepoint for leading the way in reducing payment periods from 30 to 20 days.
  2. Better treatment for small business from the banking sector in recognition of the help that the taxpayer has provided for banks.
  3. Quicker tax rebates for small businesses – delayed by "Bureaucracy in the Treasury".
  4. Fourthly comes Cameron’s main new policy: "Today we are calling on the government to allow small and medium-sized enterprises to defer their VAT bills for up to six months. That means a typical small business with 50 employees, revenues of £5m and an annual net VAT bill of £350,000, doesn’t have to find £90,000 to pay the taxman when the bank has just taken away its overdraft."

Mr Cameron’s intervention coincides with a declaration by Alistair Darling that Labour aims to spend its way out of recession by fast-tracking expenditures on capital projects.

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