1. ITV Report

Finance Secretary announces new scheme to help small businesses

Credit: PA

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford says there will be a new permanent small business rate relief scheme in Wales from April 2018.

It will limit the number of properties eligible for small business rate relief to two per business in each local authority, preventing larger businesses and national chains from benefiting from the scheme.

This will allow relief to be targeted more effectively to support small and local businesses.

will be re-invested to support small businesses every year, according to the Welsh Government.

The new permanent small business rate relief (SBBR) scheme will provide:

  • Additional support for the childcare sector, increasing the upper threshold for rates relief for childcare providers from £12,000 to £20,500.
  • Targeted support for small hydropower projects, in line with the Budget agreement with Plaid Cymru.
  • £5m to extend the temporary high street rates relief scheme into 2018-19.
  • An extra £1.3m for local authorities for 2018-19, for them to use their discretionary powers to provide targeted relief to support local businesses which would benefit most from additional assistance.

The Finance Secretary says an extra £9m and £22m will be allocated in the final Budget in 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively, to support the switch from RPI to CPI for business rates from April 2018.

Mark Drakeford says he wants to provide certainty and security for small businesses in Wales. Credit: Senedd TV

This year, we have provided small businesses with more than £110m of support to help them pay their bills. Our permanent scheme will maintain this level of support from the Welsh Government.

In line with our tax principles, the permanent scheme will target support more effectively towards those businesses which will benefit most - supporting jobs and growth and delivering wider benefits for our local communities.

My intention is to take a progressive, fair and transparent approach towards local taxation in Wales, which continues to provide vital funding for local services.

– Mark Drakeford, Finance Secretary