Help to Buy – Wales Shared Equity Scheme »This shared equity loan will make up the shortfall between the purchase price of a property and the funding available to buyers through their cash deposit and mortgage offer.Learn more »
“Autumn Statement has done little to change the challenging public finance outlook for Wales” – Jane Hutt
Wales’ Finance Minister Jane Hutt has responded to the UK Government’s Autumn Statement – saying that it has done little to change the challenging public finance outlook for Wales.
- New guidance on care and support for over 65s
- Independent report revealed at the Event Wales International Conference 2013 outlines positive impact of games and events for Wales
- “Autumn Statement has done little to change the challenging public finance outlook for Wales” – Jane Hutt
- Consultation on Regional engagement partnership structures in the tourism sector
- Implementation of Commission Directive 2013/45/EU concerning the change to the botanical name of tomato
- School term dates regulations
- Beyond 2011: Consultation on Census and future provision of population statistics in England and Wales
- M4 Corridor around Newport Consultation
- Undertaking fatal and non-fatal drug poisoning reviews in Wales
Featured consultation »New guidance for the Risk Assessment of Walked Routes to School
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In this section
Section highlightThe Housing (Wales) Bill
The Bill will introduce significant improvements across the housing sector to ensure that people have access to a decent, affordable home and better housing-related services.
Legislative programme 2013 - 2014 »
The First Minister detailed the 8 bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the 3rd year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightProject pipeline update - December 2013
This Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan annex highlights planned investments and potential procurement opportunities.
Final Budget 2014-15 »
The amount of funding allocated to Welsh Government Departments for 2014-15 is £14.9bn.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
General Block Exemption Regulation - Frequently asked questions
Find out more here about General Block Exemption Regulation with the help of our frequently asked questions.
How do I register my scheme/individual aid under the General Block Exemption Regulation?
It is important to ensure the aid provided meets all the criteria of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) including the common provisions set out in the Regulation and the specific conditions linked to the category of aid you want to use. You will then need to complete a summary of information (SOI) form (annex 3 of the GBER). As part of the SOI you must include a web address where full details of the scheme/ad hoc aid will be published. This must be completed and sent to the Welsh Government's State Aid Unit within 10 days of the scheme starting/aid granted. The SOI is then sent, using the Commission's online registration system, to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) for onward submission to the Commission. The Commission will then provide a unique reference number which will need to be quoted in all correspondence relating to the aid.
For a list of existing Welsh registrations under GBER view the related link on the right side of this page.
What should I do after I have received my registration number?
The Commission provides each eligible scheme with a unique reference number. Aid recipients must be notified in writing of the reference number and the reference number must be quoted in all correspondence relating to the scheme.
Can I provide funding to all undertakings, in all circumstances under the GBER?
There are some restrictions in relation to the types of undertakings and activities that can be given aid under the GBER. For example you are unable to give aid to undertakings in difficulty under the GBER, aid for export-related activities or regional aid to undertakings in the steel, coal and synthetic fibres sectors. More information about restrictions can be found in the GBER summary which can be accessed on the right.
I operate a scheme registered under the GBER, what are my responsibilities?
Any award of aid given under the scheme must be provided in line with the GBER. As a minimum you will need to ensure that:
- all criteria of the GBER are met including common provisions and specific conditions linked to the category of aid
- the undertaking can be supported within the scope of the GBER (see previous question for restrictions)
- the eligible costs can be supported in line with the GBER
- the aid intensity threshold and maximum aid threshold are not breached.
I operate a scheme under the GBER and understand that I am supposed to keep records for a period of 10 years. Is this 10 years from the beginning of the scheme or from the date of the last payment?
It is a requirement of the GBER that records of aid awarded be kept for 10 years. If the aid is being provided to one beneficiary then the period starts as soon as the last instalment of aid is given. When aid is provided under a scheme the period starts when the last award of aid is given (e.g. if a scheme lasts 3 years then the actual document retention period is likely to be 13 years).
What are the reporting requirements for the GBER?
The EC requires annual return information to be provided in relation to aid given under the GBER. This information is used to monitor the usage and application of the GBER and to ensure the correct use of the regulation. It allows the EC and other interested parties to verify the correct application of the GBER by the Member States.
As part of the annual return exercise aid administrators will need to provide the following information as a minimum:
- The amount of aid per calendar year given under the GBER
- The start and end date of the scheme or ad hoc aid registered under the GBER.
The annual return exercise is co-ordinated by the Welsh Government's State Aid Unit, however aid administrators are responsible for ensuring the information provided is accurate.
What are the consequences of not complying with the terms and conditions of the GBER?
The Commission are taking a tougher line on compliance with the administrative requirements that apply to registered State aid measures. Failure to properly apply them means there is no legal cover for the aid awarded under the measure and risks the Commission requesting the aid be recovered.
Where the Commission identifies abuse of the GBER, it has the power to remove its use from the Member State leading to all aid measures having to be notified directly to the Commission.