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14 News Small Business rates relief here to stay


THE HERALD FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 16 2016


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Mid & West Labour AM KEEN shoppers amongst


you will have already noticed Christmas stock arriving in local shops. So, please forgive me if you think talking about Christmas in September might seem a little on the early side. The numbers of people and


families falling into debt because of Christmas is still a cause for concern. Organisations like the Citizen Advice Bureau and the Money Advice Service annually report a spike in cases relating to money problems. So, it’s never too early to


Professor Mark Drakeford: “We know business rates can represent a high proportion of costs for small businesses”


THE WELSH GOVERNMENT’S


£98m Small Business Rates Relief scheme will be extended for 2017- 18, with a new permanent scheme coming into force from 2018, Local Government Secretary Mark Drakeford has announced. The extended and new schemes


will play a key part in delivering the manifesto pledge for a tax cut for small businesses. The Local Government Secretary


and Economy Secretary Ken Skates made the announcement as they met the team at Portuguese bakery Nata & Co in Cardiff’s Bute Street. Nata & Co is among the 70% of


small businesses in Wales which will benefit from small business rates relief – about half of all eligible businesses will pay no rates at all. Under the current scheme, business premises with a rateable value of up


to £6,000 will receive 100% relief and those with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000 will receive relief on a tapered basis from 100% to zero. These arrangements are being extended to 2017-18. Professor Drakeford said:


“Delivering tax cuts for small businesses was one of our key manifesto pledges. One of the most effective ways in which we can do this is by making our small business rates relief scheme permanent. “We know business rates can


represent a high proportion of costs for small businesses and that’s why we want to give them the certainty and security that this vital source of support will continue in 2017-18. “Over the course of the next year, we


will be considering how we can improve the system for 2018, so we better target support for small businesses and, acting on the feedback we’ve received,


ensuring the small minority who try to avoid paying rates pay their fair share.” Welcoming the announcement,


Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: “Nata & Co is a great example of a thriving small business – its reputation for excellent Portuguese produce is well known in Cardiff and beyond. “I’m delighted we will be able to


continue to help this and thousands of other small businesses through the small business rates relief scheme. “We want to see economic growth


in all parts of Wales and schemes like this go a long way in helping our small businesses strengthen and expand.” Nata & Co’s owner Filipe Brito


said: “The Small Business Rates Relief Scheme is one of the best forms of support we’ve received - it’s helped us to grow and expand the company. It’s the kind of support that would be very rare to get in other countries.”


think about how best to save or manage for those Christmas gifts, which is why I’m highlighting the work of our local Credit Unions this week. Across the three counties, local Credit Unions, like SAVEeasy and the West Wales Credit Union, provide a safe and reliable way of saving and managing your money. Not only that, they also offer access to low cost borrowing, charging low interest rates against a high street full of payday lenders out to make a quick buck. West Wales Credit Union also provides a visa debit card, so you can access your money easily without the high charges of a high street bank. Membership of Credit Unions


Eluned Morgan


in Wales continues to grow. By saving with a Credit Union, you’re using your money wisely, giving back to the local community, and taking a stand against the high- interest loan companies who often allow people to take out more debt than they can afford and actively encourage debt to be rolled over. Should you be struggling to


manage debt you have taken out, or know someone who is, please visit the Citizens Advice Bureau. Information on how to find your local Citizens Advice Bureau can be found on their website (www. citizensadvice.org.uk). Many people struggle with


those everyday costs as well, particularly with the austerity imposed by the Tory Government in Westminster. It can be really hard to manage what seem to be spiralling costs these days. Independent advice on managing budgets, should you need it, is available on the Money Made Clear Wales website (www. moneymadeclearwales.org). I’ll leave you this week with


this early seasonal reminder that ‘It’s Never Too Early to Save for Christmas’. (Although it is a little early to start the Christmas decorations!)


Defendant on ‘slippery slope’ MAGISTRATES heard from


a Duty Solicitor at Aberystwyth Court on Wednesday (Sept 14) that the defendant in question ‘no longer consumes alcohol after falling down a slippery slope’. Michael Robert Tansey, 43, of


Custom House Street in Aberystwyth, pleaded guilty to two offences of possessing a Class A controlled drug on August 31 at Aberystwyth. Prosecuting, Helen Tench


addressed the court by stating that officers conducted a strip search of Tansey at the police station at 7.30pm on the day in question and found four plastic wraps in Tansey’s possession. Officers discovered 0.34 g of


diamorphine in two wraps and two other wraps containing cocaine. Ms Tench added that during an


interview at the police station, the defendant confirmed that the drugs belonged to him for his own personal use, stating that he was also aware of their illegality. Ms Tench concluded by stating


that the defendant recently appeared before court on September 7 for a theft and attempted theft offence. Defending, Janem Jones told


the court that on September 7, the defendant had received a one year community order for the theft charge consisting of 15 drug rehabilitation activity days, pre-dating the drug offence. Ms Jones added that Tansey


expressed his gladness for the imposed community order as it is helping him overcome his issues with drugs. Probation Officer Julian Davies


also addressed the court to say that drugs were the main issue for Tansey, which is being dealt with through the community order. For the first offence, Magistrates


imposed a Band C fine of £120 in addition to a total of £115 in court costs. Magistrates imposed no separate


penalty for the second offence and issued a destruction order for the drugs.


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