Arfon MP and MS call on Welsh Government to provide freelancers and self-employed instructors with certainty.
Plaid Cymru Member of the Westminster Parliament for Arfon Hywel Williams and Member of the Senedd Siân Gwenllian have written to the First Minister of Wales urging the Welsh government to provide self-employed, freelance and small-scale outdoor activity providers in Eryri with a clear timetable on when their services can resume.
Mr Williams and Ms Gwenllian have been contacted by a number of constituents working in the local outdoor activity sector, deeply concerned at the lack of targeted support for those who fall outside the rigid eligibility criteria of both UK and Welsh government support schemes.
Many of these businesses and workers do not have fixed premises nor are they on PAYE schemes and so are excluded from financial support. Many are also exempt from claiming Universal Credit as they have partners/ spouses who earn income.
Hywel Williams MP and Siân Gwenllian MS said,
'With the Snowdonia National Park and beaches re-opening and visitors being welcomed back to Wales, there appears to be little guidance on whether specific elements of the outdoor activity sector can resume providing services.'
'In particular, climbing and walking guides, outdoor pursuit businesses and outdoor activity centres alongside several walking societies, which support many local jobs across Eryri are still waiting for a clear timetable on when they can safely resume services.'
'Many of these businesses which include self-employed freelancers, have been unable to access the financial support schemes made available by the UK and Welsh governments as they fall outside the strict eligibility criteria.'
'Many are struggling to get by on significantly reduced incomes and no certainty as to when they can get back to work. Many are also exempt from claiming Universal Credit as they have partners/ spouses who earn income.'
'There is a fear that these small-scale businesses will never recover from the financial and reputational impact of Covid-19.'
'Whilst the majority are supportive of the need to prioritise the health of local communities, they cannot understand why some tourism businesses are being allowed to re-open but not their sector.'
'We hope the First Minister can provide some reassurance to these businesses and individuals whose livelihoods depend on knowing when they can get back to work.'