The forthcoming Autumn Statement was the main focus of discussion among representatives from the Welsh business community during a meeting with the Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones in London today (15 October 2013).
Mr Jones welcomed members of the Business Advisory Group to Gwydyr House where he took the opportunity to gather member views on the policy proposals they would like to see included in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement (4 December 2013).
As part of the policy-making process, HM Treasury welcomes representations from stakeholders on the provisions they would like to see included in budgetary announcements with the aim of stimulating economic growth.
The Welsh business community discussed their proposals at today’s meeting, and the Secretary of State will now share the proposals with the Chancellor of the Exchequer for consideration.
The meeting was held on the day that the UK Government announced the roll out of Start Up loans across Wales. The Government funded scheme provides opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to gain access to finance and receive professional business mentoring to help them start and run a successful enterprise. To date, the scheme has helped over 8,000 UK businesses get off the ground and loaned over £42m over the last 12 months.
Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones said:
Earlier this month, I attended the Fast Growth 50 awards in Cardiff, and was impressed by the level of success Welsh companies have had over the last year, and how they have reacted positively to what have been difficult economic conditions.
The roll out of the Start-Up Loan scheme in Wales will provide many more of our budding entrepreneurs with the opportunity to join in this success. I would encourage them to seize the support available to strike out and to turn their ideas into the viable, successful businesses of the future.
The issue of reforming EU rules to break down barriers to prosperous business competition was also discussed following a presentation from officials from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
The Prime Minister’s Business Task Force launched a consultation in August, seeking the views of British businesses with the aim of collecting concrete, practical examples of EU barriers to business competitiveness. The Secretary of State actively encouraged members to submit their views to this consultation, and to support the Task Force in its important work.
Mr Jones added:
This Government wants to underline the message that Wales is open for business. As Chair of the Wales Office Business Advisory Group, I am always keen to ensure that the views of businesses are heard by my cabinet colleagues, and also to highlight the important role Wales plays in private sector growth.
As we look ahead to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, it was important for me to have the opportunity to hear the type of policy proposals representatives of the Welsh business community would like the Treasury to consider, with the aim of helping to steer the Welsh economy from rescue to recovery.
During the meeting, the Secretary of State also chaired a round table discussion on the current business environment, and businesses’ response to the current economic challenges.
Notes to Editors
For further information, please contact the Wales Office Communications Team on 029 2092 4204 / 020 7270 1362.
For further information on the Start Up loans announcement, please contact the BIS press team on 020 7215 5000.