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Welsh Government’s permanent rate relief scheme “fails to deliver radical change”, says Conservative AM

The Welsh Government’s newly announced permanent business rate relief scheme “fails to deliver the radical changes Welsh business needs”, a Conservative AM has said.

It comes in response to a statement published today by Mark Drakeford AM, Welsh Labour’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance.

The announcement (see attached) fails in the following respects:

  • Wales still has the most expensive multiplier in Great Britain: 49.9p compared to 46.6p in Scotland; 46.6p and 47.6p for small and large business, respectively, in England.
     
  • Welsh businesses still only get 100% rate relief up to £6k in rentable value compared with £12k in England and £15k in Scotland.

Commenting, Nick Ramsay AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Finance Secretary, said:

“While we welcome the introduction of a permanent business rate relief scheme, the announcement merely tinkers around the edges and fails to deliver the radical changes Welsh business needs.

“Wales is fast becoming the least competitive country in the UK. Our businesses remain at a crippling disadvantage to English firms who enjoy double the rate relief threshold – in Scotland, this is higher again – while the method for calculating small businesses rates is as regressive as ever.

“If the Cabinet Secretary is serious about unleashing Wales’ entrepreneurial talent, then he will use the powers at his disposal to instigate a real reform of businesses rates which allows businesses the extra cash to grow and hire.”