Mark Drakeford, Cabinet Secretary for Finance
In April, the Welsh Government introduced a new, permanent small business rates relief scheme, providing certainty and security for small businesses in Wales. At the time, we said we would continue to develop the scheme to ensure it meets Wales’ needs and targets support in line with our wider priorities.
The small business rates relief scheme will be further enhanced to provide 100% relief to all registered childcare providers in Wales. This will help the sector in delivering our childcare offer of 30 hours of early education and childcare, helping working parents of three to four-year-olds access employment opportunities; support economic wellbeing and long term growth.
This higher level of relief will start on 1 April 2019. It will be in place for three years to 31 March 2022, during which time it will be evaluated to assess its effect.
This announcement supports our commitment to prioritise investment in the childcare sector, as set out in our 10-year Childcare, Play and Early Years workforce plan and the Economic Action Plan. It supports our bespoke approach to helping the sector build capacity and capability; creating jobs, additional childcare places and longer-term growth across the sector.
The scheme will provide an estimated £7.5m of additional support to childcare providers over the period. In line with our tax principles and policy aims, this enhancement of the small business rates relief scheme targets support towards those businesses where it will have the greatest impact, supporting jobs and growth and delivering broader benefits for our local communities.
Over the longer term, our aim is to take a progressive, fair and transparent approach towards local taxation in Wales, which provides essential funding for vital local services. Delivering a responsive and evolving rates relief scheme for small businesses is a key step in achieving this.