Steps to counteract the effects of the credit crunch have been criticised by organisations representing the legal and business sectors.

The Irish Brokers Association has said the Government's €7bn cash injection for the banks would serve only to keep the institutions afloat.

The association said it would take a number of years and possibly a further cash injection before normal lending was resumed.

It also called for the implementation of a €6bn pension scheme to re-invigorate small and medium enterprises and recoup losses suffered by Irish pension funds.

Meanwhile, the organisation which represents Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) has described as deeply disappointing the newly issued Financial Regulator's code of conduct on mortgage arrears.

It said the code offered even less protection for consumers than the draft code which the regulator prepared last month.

The organisation said that because the State's mortgage interest supplement can take some months to process, the situation of those in mortgage difficulty may not be improved at all by the code.

It also described the language in the code as vague and ambiguous, making it difficult to enforce.