Welsh Small Shops Group Discuss Business Rates

The Cross Party Group on Small Shops gathered yesterday (11thMarch) to discuss the future of devolved business rates in Wales following the chancellor’s announcement in November’s Autumn Financial Statement.

During the session, Business Rates Panel chair Chris Sutton set out the Business Rates Panel’s recommendations which was set up last year by the Welsh Economy Minister, Edwina Hart, to consider a strategic approach to business rates following devolution.  Professor Dylan Jones-Evans also spoke to the Group about how the devolution of rates could benefit small shops and incentives growth. Small shop representatives including the Association of Convenience Stores, Rural Shops Alliance and Federation of Small Business also took part in the discussion.

Janet Finch-Saunders AM, chair of the Cross Party Group on Small Shops, said, “Business rates are one of the biggest costs for small shops in Wales. The devolution of business rates gives Wales the opportunity to find ideas for a fairer system for calculating rates bills and to support small shops across the country.”

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The measures announced in the Autumn Statement to devolve business rates will allow the Welsh Government to review how rates can be used to support small shops in Wales. ACS welcomed the full review of business rates announced by the Chancellor in the 2014 Autumn Statement, and we hope that the Welsh Government will also seek to find a fairer and more transparent system for calculating business rates.”

Business rates will be fully devolved to Wales in April 2015. The Economy Minister extended the Small Business Rate Relief scheme in Wales for the 2015-16 financial year, meaning that properties with a rateable value of £6,000 and under receive 100% rate relief. Further changes to the Welsh system are expected after the full devolution of rates.

The Cross Party Group will write to the Economy Minister, highlighting how measures, such as more frequent revaluations, can support small shops.

This entry was posted by Victoria on Fri, 13/03/2015 - 05:00