Following the publication of the new Welsh Government guidance regarding holiday let businesses, many have expressed concern that they may fail to meet the requirements under the three guidelines. Plaid Cymru’s Gwynedd Leader, Councillor Dyfrig Siencyn said:
“Gwynedd Council will endeavour to ensure that bona fide holiday let businesses receive the grant payment due to them under the scheme. I wish to emphasise the fact, that these are Welsh Government guidelines not Gwynedd Council. This was not the wording suggested to the Government, by Gwynedd Council. Our wording would have been much easier to implement, but we now have to work under the new guidelines that set out the three specific categories. We will do our best, within the guidelines, to financially support genuine businesses.
“There was a real possibility that up to £18million of public money could have been paid to second homes owners who had deliberately transferred to Business Rates to avoid paying any tax. This was a significant concern for five Welsh Councils and indeed to the Minister herself. It would have been iniquitous to pay this money to the large number of individuals across Wales, who fell into this category.
“There will be a considerable amount of work to deal with the new guidance issued by the Welsh Government this week, and this may result in delays to the processing of some payments. Here in Gwynedd, we are strengthening our finance team to ensure payments are made as quickly as possible to businesses within the county.
“I am keen to unequivocally convey that we fully appreciate the importance of the hospitality industry to the local economy here in Gwynedd. But it would have been wrong for us to make substantial payments from the public purse to those who have used the Labour Government’s flawed system, to avoid paying taxes.
“I respectfully suggest that the Welsh Government use the money saved to help the many small bed and breakfast establishments that have yet to receive any financial support. This is another sector that is suffering as a result of Covid-19.”
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