Vikki Howells highlights ‘Most generous rate relief package in the UK’

Vikki Howells AM has asked First Minister Carwyn Jones AM to make sure that any future business rate relief scheme brought forward by the Welsh Government builds on what is already the most generous support package for small businesses in the UK.

The Cynon Valley Assembly Member’s call comes in the wake of the announcement that the Welsh Government will be extending its popular £98 million small business rate relief scheme for a further year.

Under the scheme, over 7 out of every 10 Welsh businesses pay reduced rates, with half paying no rates at all.

The Welsh Government said it will introduce a new permanent scheme that will come into force from 2018, which will provide support for small businesses in towns and villages throughout Wales but that will also provide certainty so owners can plan ahead.

Vikki Howells AM said:-

“Just over a third of business premises in England and Northern Ireland, and just under half in Scotland, currently benefit from business rate relief compared to over 70 per cent of Welsh businesses.

“I look forward to the publication of the Welsh Government’s permanent rate relief scheme for small businesses, but will the Welsh Government make sure that this is still the most generous rate relief package within the UK?”

First Minister Carwyn Jones AM replied:-

“We will look to provide that, and on top of that we want to provide certainty for a scheme that’s always been temporary, despite the fact that it’s been renewed for a number of years.

“But we need to make sure that that certainty is there for businesses so that they can plan going forward.”