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21 November 2017

Budget is an opportunity to instil confidence in Welsh businesses

FSB Wales has called on the Chancellor to take the opportunity of the Autumn Budget to instill confidence in Welsh businesses.

Ben Cottam, FSB Wales Head of External Affairs, said:

“The Autumn Budget is an opportunity for the Chancellor to deliver a confidence-boosting budget for businesses in Wales.

“Businesses are operating at a time of great uncertainty, and the Chancellor should therefore prioritise investments and actions for Wales which bolster the confidence of firms across Wales.

“Signing off on the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is one way to demonstrate the UK Government’s commitment to investing in Wales outside of Cardiff, and of giving the green-light to a scheme that has widespread support from the business community. Tidal Lagoon Power made an early commitment to a local supply chain and it is only right that the Chancellor give this project the go-ahead so that businesses can begin to see the benefits of this.

“Devolving Air Passenger Duty (APD) to Wales would also give businesses a confidence boost and send the message that we will be able to work locally to ensure that Wales is seen as a country that is open for business. Devolving APD means supporting our businesses to open up new, exciting markets across the world and recognises Cardiff Airport as an asset for economic development within the region.

“Business owners will have noted speculation about moves to lower the VAT threshold. We do not believe that this is the way to inspire confidence in the Welsh business community. VAT is the most time-consuming tax to deal with. FSB has calculated that smaller businesses spend at least a week each year simply complying with their VAT obligations – time that business owners should be able to spend expanding their businesses.

“Once again small firms and the self-employed fear the Chancellor could single them out for a tax grab at the Budget. We are calling on the Chancellor to prioritise supporting businesses in Wales in this Budget, and look forward to seeing what measures the UK Government will take to promote growth in Welsh businesses.”