Edwina Hart, Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science
I am pleased to notify Assembly Members that the Welsh Government is extending the Welsh Small Business Rate Relief Scheme from 2012-13 into 2013-14.
The Task and Finish Group on Business Rates policy were made aware of the concerns of many businesses about the future of the Scheme after March 2013. With the SME sector of such importance to the economy of Wales, the were very much in favour of the current Small Business Relief scheme being extended.
The Welsh Government pressed HM Treasury to continue the scheme beyond March 2013, highlighting its importance to small businesses.
In his Autumn Statement on 5 December, the Chancellor announced the continuation of the Small Business Rate Relief scheme into the financial year 2013-14.
I can confirm that the Welsh Government will be extending the Welsh Small Business Rate Relief Scheme from 2012-13 into 2013-14.
The scheme provides valuable support to small businesses at an extremely difficult time in the economic cycle.
The qualifying criteria for the relief will remain the same as those in place at the moment, and I will shortly be arranging for the appropriate regulations to be laid before Assembly Members.