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Welsh environment minister sets out carrier bag reporting exemption for small businesses

Retailers with staff of less than 10 will be exempt from record keeping requirements for the forthcoming Welsh carrier bag levy, environment minister John Griffiths has announced.

Following feedback from the Federation of Small Businesses, it was decided that small retailers would have limited administrative resources, and should be exempt from requirements to record the number of bags issued and proceeds from the carrier bag charge.

Federation of Small Businesses in Wales chair Janet Jones said: “We are pleased that the Minister has listened to our concerns regarding the practical implication of this for micro businesses. The complexity, as well as the added time and cost, in administering this would add further pressure on small businesses which have already been struggling to cope with the ongoing effects of a recession, high fuel costs and a VAT increase. We hope that the enforcement of this will also be lenient to allow time for the new charge to embed, not only with retailers, but also with their customers.” 

Environment minister John Griffiths said: “The idea of the charge is not to make people pay for carrier bags. Rather it is to encourage shoppers to make use of the bags they already have. We can all avoid the charge by remembering to carry reusable bags when we do our shopping.”

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