House of Commons Library

Future of the rural economy in Wales

Published Monday, November 27, 2017

MPs will debate the Future of the rural economy in Wales, led by Ben Lake, on Tuesday 28 November at 4.30pm, in Westminster Hall. This House of Commons Library briefing provides a summary of the issues, statistics and background information for the debate.

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Summary

This briefing highlights issues around the rural economy in Wales that are likely to be relevant in the debate on 28 November in Westminster Hall at 4.30pm.

Output per head in areas of rural Wales has grown over the last ten years, in line with other areas of Wales, but the level of output per head in rural areas is below the Wales average. Section 2 provides output and employment data for rural areas. An important part of the rural economy in Wales is tourism. An issue that has been raised in the past is VAT rates for tourism (see PQs in section 8). A Library note VAT on tourism provides further detail.

Over the period 2014-2020, Wales is due to receive €5 billion in EU related funding. Some guarantees are in place for the period after Brexit (and beyond 2020 for agricultural payments), but uncertainty remains over the future shape of regional development and agriculture funding. Further detail is given in section 3.

A programme to support the rollout of superfast broadband has been taking place across the UK. Broadband speeds in Wales are below UK averages, and rollouts can be more challenging in rural areas; section 4 of this note provides more detail on the programmes in Wales as well as maps of superfast coverage.

The shape of a future agricultural policy after Brexit is an important issue for rural Wales. Section 5 of this briefing outlines issues for the rural economy around a future agricultural policy, funding, trade, the geographical protection of goods and access to labour.

Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0242

Authors: Edward Potton; Lorna Booth; Georgina Hutton; Emma Downing; Philip Brien; Alex Adcock; Carl Baker

Topics: Agriculture, Economic situation, Telecommunications

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