Plaid has rightly called for an urgent extension of support for small businesses in Wales in order to safeguard jobs and livelihoods during the recession. Welsh Government support for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) is due to run out in March 2013 – and the doubts over future support are leading to uncertainty for businesses throughout Wales. The Welsh Government needs to commit itself to extending support for SMEs beyond March 2013. Plaid has renewed its call for government support to be extended to help more businesses. Plaid’s Small Business Job Protection Scheme would give financial help to extra 8,000 businesses in Wales by offering full relief from Business rates to businesses with a rateable value of up to £12,000 and tapered support up to a rateable value of £18,000. Plaid has argued that revised GDP figures that show that the double dip recession is even deeper that initially feared something that make it exceptionally important for the Welsh government to take urgent action on business rates. The party has also said that the Welsh government should be investing in capital projects which would help to create and safeguard thousands of jobs across all of Wales.
Plaid Cymru AM, Rhodri Glyn Thomas, said:
"It is imperative that the Labour Welsh Government takes urgent action in light of yet another stark warning about the depth and severity of this recession. The revised GDP figures show that the double dip recession is even deeper that initially feared and that is very worrying news indeed for the people of Wales especially as the worst of the ConDem cuts is still to come.
"As well as the general economic conditions which are making life very difficult indeed for small businesses, there is currently great uncertainty about how much support they will get from the Welsh Government after March next year. We’re now less than 9 months away and businesses do not know what their business rate bills will be for next year. The Labour Welsh Government is making it increasingly difficult for businesses to plan – and that is leading to uncertainty about jobs as a result.
"Small business owners have been doing all they can to maintain staffing levels during the economic crisis, yet their efforts are under threat from Labour’s lethargy. This situation needs urgent action if jobs and livelihoods are to be safeguarded.
"It’s bad enough that Labour ministers have refused to commit to Plaid Cymru’s plan to support small businesses during the economic crisis. We would extend support to more than 8,000 companies in Wales that do not currently receive any tax relief at all. But currently, Labour won’t even extend the current level of support – and if this uncertainty continues, there is a clear danger that further jobs will be lost."