PLAID Cymru has called on the Welsh Government to take inspiration from Northern Irish model and extend grants to those more recently self-employed.
The Northern Ireland Executive has announced that those who became self-employed during 2019/20 will now be eligible for self-employment grants, following concerns from the Economy Committee that many would be excluded by the previous eligibility criteria.
Helen Mary Jones MS, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for the Economy, said that the Welsh Government should follow suit and that public money should be properly used.
Ms Jones said that new businesses “will have a vital role to play in rebuilding our economy once the covid crisis is over”.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for the Economy, Helen Mary Jones MS said,
“We have been calling for months for more flexibility in the support for self-employed people, including those who have only recently become unemployed. Now the Northern Ireland Executive has made their scheme more flexible, showing that it is possible for these business owners to be supported at the same time as ensuring that that public money is properly used, there is no excuse for Welsh Government not to do the same.
“These new businesses will have a vital role to play in rebuilding our economy once the covid crisis is over, and many will have the capacity to grow and provide work for others in the future too.
“It is vital that they are not forced to close because of a lack of the support that has been made available to others. And there is also an issue of basic fairness. I will be writing to the Economy Minster to urge him to look at the Northern Ireland model and consider replicating it here.”