With Small Business Saturday taking place on 1st December, Vale MP Alun Cairns is calling on Welsh Government to offer real support to small businesses by passing on the money they have received from the UK Government to cut business rates by a third.
In the Chancellor’s Budget, funding was made available to enable the UK Government to cut business rates by up to a third in England. As a result of the funding settlement between the UK and Welsh Governments, which Mr Cairns as Secretary of State for Wales had a role in negotiating, this means that the Welsh Government will receive an additional £26m for the period 2019-2020, to implement the rates cut in Wales. Overall, they will receive an additional £550m due to increased funding from the UK Government on things such as the NHS.
The Welsh Government now has the power to decide on whether they will use the funding to cut business rates, as is the case in England.
The Vale MP says that businesses locally have long argued for help with their rates and will be looking to receive the same support as those in England. He believes that with Small Business Saturday approaching, it would be fitting for the Welsh Government to state their intention to support small business and urges other politicians to put aside party politics to join his call.
Mr Cairns said, “I’m delighted that the Chancellor has recognised that small businesses need support with rates and has responded by cutting them by a third. However, this only applies in England and Welsh businesses need the Welsh Government to pass on the saving to traders in Wales. They’ve received the money from UK Government and have the power to support our small business.”
He added, “Across the Vale, we are lucky to have a unique range of small businesses that make our area so special. We have vibrant high streets in Barry, Cowbridge and Llantwit Major that we need to support in every way that we can. These local traders are creating jobs for local people and attracting visitors to the Vale. We all want to ensure that they’re successful and continue to trade for many years to come. One of the best ways that we can do this is by supporting them with business rates. Whenever I speak to businesses, this is always a key issue for them. The Welsh Government now has the funding and the power to do so and I know that they will be encouraged from all sides to do the right thing.”