Welsh Government £10 million business plan ‘token gesture’

17 February 2017

An independent store in Cardiff  has criticised the Welsh Government’s business rate relief scheme.

The owner of the Royal Sweet Shop says the £10 million pounds earmarked  for high street businesses won’t help him.

The Royal Sweet Shop opened six years ago in the Royal Arcade and the owner says since his new valuation his business rates are expected to increase in April.

He says “As far as the £10 million pounds going, I don’t think I’ll see a penny of it to be honest. It will be hardly anything.”

“By the time they’ve shared out the £10 million pounds, it won’t go far will it? I’m not not going to see much of it. So its just a token gesture.”

The £10m business rate scheme aims to help with costs for small shops, restaurants and pubs whose rates have increased because of new valuations on their property.  It will also help high street shops who are struggling with online competition and the economy.

Business rates are the amount of tax companies have to pay the Welsh Government for the buildings they use.  They are calculated by the rental value of a property, but they also take into account the value of a businesses machinery and equipment.  They were previously set in relation to the price of the property in 2008. In September 2016, the business rates were recalculated when new valuations were made according to 2015 property prices.  The new rates will be introduced in April.

The Vice Chair for the Confederation of British Industry Wales, Chris Sutton says “In Wales what we have seen is that Cardiff has become a popular city, and rents have gone up.  We are probably going to see business rates go up as well.”

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford says “Some retailers across Wales are concerned about increases in their rates as a result of the Valuation Office Agency’s revaluation. We are therefore providing a further £10m to help businesses in those communities which have been adversely affected.

“We are listening to the feedback we have received so we can make the scheme as fair, reasonable and transparent as possible.”

The £10 million business rate relief scheme will be launched in April.

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