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George welcomes news on business rates relief

Created on 17/12/2016 @ 08:07
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 An additional £10m will be made available to help firms cope with changes to their business rates, the Welsh Government has announced.

And the move has been backed by Montgomeryshire AM Russell George, the Welsh Conservatives' economy spokesman.

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said it will help shops, pubs and cafes.

Their tax bills are set to increase significantly in April as a result of a re-valuation of their premises.

Mr Drakeford's announcement follows calls for more support to be offered to affected retailers.He said: "Some retailers across Wales are seeing substantial increases in their rates.

"There are towns and communities which have been disproportionately affected.

"Equally, there are many high streets across the country where business rates are falling but retailers are still struggling. This targeted relief scheme will be in place by 1 April next year when the revised rates come into force."

"We are pleased that they have finally listened to reason,” said Mr George. "Hopefully this additional money will be sufficient to support companies facing a huge uplift in their tax bills."

The new funding, which will be distributed by local authorities, is in addition to the Welsh Government's £10m transitional relief scheme and its Small Business Rate Relief Scheme wirth £100million.

Business rates all over Wales and England have been re-calculated, with the new tariffs based primarily on how much a property would cost to rent.

The re-valuation, based on 2015 prices, was carried out by the independent Valuation Office Agency.

The pledge has been agreed with Plaid Cymru ahead of the Welsh Government's final budget.

Plaid Cymru's finance spokesman Adam Price said: "We have taken heed of the concerns of businesses, and urged the government to take action. We are glad that they have responded constructively."


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