Will the Minister outline the data and calculations used to as a basis for the Welsh Government's claim that the its business support is the most generous provided in the UK?
Allocated Covid-19 grants and reliefs to businesses in Wales (approx. £2.3bn) now exceeds consequentials flowing from business support in England (approx. £1.9bn)
The key differentiators between UK Government and Welsh Government:
- Bespoke grants, including Start-ups
- Cultural Recovery Fund and Freelancer Fund
- Non-property based grants (for businesses without premises)
- Discretionary Fund via local authorities for exceptions
- Outdoor Education Providers
- Needs based – aligned to actual costs of business
- Designed around JRS/SEISS to complement
- Delivered at pace (e.g. Development Bank loans first to market)
In Wales, hospitality, leisure and tourism (HLT) businesses have had the benefit of the ERF Sector Fund 1 and 2, providing additional cash grant support on top of NDR linked grants. Unlike NDR-based grants, ERF support can be targeted with greater precision and scaled, so awards are proportionate to the costs, and size of businesses not just the property they operate from.
As an example, a 10-employee hospitality business with a rateable value of £25k in the Vale of Glamorgan would have received up to £52.5k (including latest phase of business support) in Wales compared to £26k in England, increasing to £36k if eligible for the restart grant.
In England, the restart grant is driven by rateable value (RV) and sector. Only businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym and sport business premises (HLT) with a RV of >£50001 would qualify for an £18k restart grant. An equivalent retailer would qualify for £6,000.
In terms of non-essential retail, the combined package in Wales is, in most scenarios either higher or equivalent to the offer in England. The only notable exception is for larger retailers with RVs of more than £50k where the grant in Wales would be £15k vs up to £16k in England. While still comparable, this reflects a policy priority to target the most intensive financial support at businesses most affected by restrictions in Wales and the very small number of >£50k RV properties in Wales.
In addition, and unlike England, our 100% rates relief scheme for retail, hospitality and leisure will run for a full 12 months providing additional support in particular to those with larger RV such as the retail exception meaning in the round the business will be better off.
Looking to the future the Welsh Government is developing options for further funding for support packages to help businesses develop and grow sustainably and responsibly. Further details will be announced on the Business Wales website in the coming weeks.