Thursday, 15 September 2016

Rate relief 'a missed opportunity' for small businesses

The Cardiff Labour Government's decision to maintain the current business rates relief has been described as a missed opportunity by Plaid Cymru.

Small Business Rates Relief is the largest scheme helping businesses in Wales. It provides 100% relief for properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less, and tapered relief for properties between £6,001 and £12,000.

Around 51% or 56,000 non-domestic properties in Wales are eligible for 100% relief and a further 19% receive partial relief.

According to the latest figures, over 4,250 business properties are liable for non-domestic rates in Wrexham.

However, most businesses in Wrexham town centre do not qualify for this rate relief because their rateable value is far higher, due to the system not having been reviewed since the economic downturn.

Responding to the Welsh Government announcement on business rates, Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy Adam Price said:

“The business sector in Wales will be extremely disappointed to see the Labour government row back on one of its top manifesto pledges for this year’s Assembly election. Despite business owners being promised a better deal after the election, what the Labour government has given them is business as usual. In these uncertain political times businesses need support that they can depend on, but Labour is clearly unwilling to deliver it. As we made clear in our Programme for Opposition, reduction in business rates remains a key issue for us and we will be seeking to press this home in our discussions with the Welsh Government on future budget priorities.”

Plaid Cymru's plan would take far more small businesses out of paying rates, enabling them to spend money more effectively on improving their businesses and employing more staff.

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