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03 October 2017

Response to A New Budget for Wales

Commenting on A New Budget for Wales, Janet Jones, FSB Wales Policy Unit Chair, said:

“Businesses will be disappointed to see that £100 million is being cut from the budget for economy and infrastructure at a time when there are falling levels of business confidence, and when the full impact that Brexit will have on the economy is still unknown. Cutting this funding before the Economy Secretary has published the new economic strategy sends a very uncertain message to businesses about what to expect from the strategy.

“We are, however, pleased to welcome funding for transport infrastructure upgrades and in particular the funding available to support businesses ahead of Brexit.

“Whilst we wait to hear the full detail of the proposed “Tourism Tax” we must be clear that the Welsh Government should avoid supporting any levy which is targeted almost exclusively at small businesses. Areas of Wales that are most dependent on tourism to support the local economy, are often also the same areas that have the least diverse economies, and we must be careful that the full potential impact of a new levy on small tourism businesses is understood.

“Imposing a takeaway tax through the “disposable plastic tax” would appear on the face of it to also disproportionately impact upon small businesses. We look forward to seeing the detail from the Welsh Government which will confirm that this is not the case.

“We hope to see more detail in the budget soon, and for this detail to reassure businesses that their level of support will not drop due to cuts to the economy budget, and they will not be disproportionately impacted by new taxes.”