Big boost for UK economy as subsidy control system comes into force from January

The new system for regulating business subsidies will take effect from January 4th, Business Minister Dean Russell announced today (Thursday, October 20th), providing a major boost to businesses and further impetus behind government plans to boost economic growth.

Under the new rules, decentralized administrations and local authorities will be able to provide subsidies tailored to local needs, with the new regime providing the necessary flexibility to ensure that support gets quickly where it is most needed.

Public authorities will be able to support viable businesses across their region quickly and simply, offering good value to the UK taxpayer, ensuring UK businesses can help generate economic growth.

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The introduction of the new rules from January marks a major departure from the prescriptive EU aid regime that could prevent elected governments in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh from delivering funds to companies in need.

Affairs Minister Dean Russell said:

Our subsidy control regime is built to meet the needs of modern Britain, freeing UK authorities from the restrictive shackles of European bureaucracy and lengthy approval processes.

Our new rules are robust yet flexible, empowering public authorities to deliver money quickly, fairly and simply to companies that need it most.

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Under the EU system, all subsidies except those under a ‘Block Exemption Regulation’ had to go through a lengthy bureaucratic process of being notified and approved by the European Commission in advance, delaying vital funds from reaching viable companies​ in a timely manner.

The implementation of this regime takes place after a broad and thorough consultation on the proposed approach, with views collected from stakeholders across the UK.

The new rules will help bolster the government’s plans to boost a vibrant free-market economy by banning unlimited government guarantees for companies, as well as subsidies given to “sick or insolvent” companies where there is no credible restructuring plan.

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The UK’s new regime will also contribute to meeting the UK’s international commitments on subsidy control, including its international commitments in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Free Trade Agreements.

BEIS is holding a series of events for public authorities to explain the main features and principles of the new regime.
Source: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Dean Russell MP



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