The Wales Association of Self Catering Operators has joined forces with the Wales Tourism Alliance to highlight two issues that could inflict series damage on this vital sector of the Welsh Economy.
The first is the Treasury’s proposed changes to the Furnished Holiday Letting tax rules which will considerably reduce the profitability of self catering establishments.
Secondly, the Business Rates Revaluation which means many self catering businesses will be hit with large rate increases.
Although the Assembly Government can do little about the first issue, thanks to the Labour Government in Westminster’s decision to ignore its weak protests, they can act to alleviate the worst effects of the rate revaluation.
I have called on the Assembly Government to postpone the revaluation exercise until at least April 2011. I have raised this matter in the National Assembly and will continue to do so until the Minister brings forward a package of measures to assist businesses faced with staggering increases.
My party has proposed to exempt businesses with a rateable value of £10,000 or less from paying rates altogether, with tapered relief for firms worth up to £15,000.
With new figures showing Wales as having the second lowest rate of business start-ups in the UK, we must do more to protect those businesses we already have, as well as to encourage new businesses.