James Evans MS has criticised the Welsh Government’s decision to cut the business relief rate from 75% down to 40% for the retail, leisure, and hospitality sector.
The business relief rate will remain at 75% in England for the next financial year, and the Welsh Government are receiving the consequential funding to continue with relief in Wales but have made the political decision not to.
Dating back to the COVID-19 pandemic, James Evans has consistently argued that businesses need support particularly now more than ever, with many grappling with higher costs and various other difficulties.
The Welsh Conservatives this week brought forward a Senedd motion in an attempt to restore Business Rates Relief in Wales, but it did not pass.
Speaking after yesterday’s debate in the Senedd, James Evans MS said:
“I am disgusted by this decision. Businesses are already struggling in the current climate of rising costs, difficulties recruiting and retaining staff, and then for the Welsh Labour Government to deal this final blow – I fear this will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
“Wales has lost more than one pub every week last year. In High Streets right across my constituency, I have seen many businesses forced to close for good. It’s an already uneven playing field against online traders but now Welsh businesses will face higher costs than their counterparts in England.
“I cannot understand why Welsh Labour are hurting businesses in this way when they have the consequential funding to continue. I see this in the context of other policies such as the blanket 20MPH, the 182-day occupancy ruling on tourism business, that hit businesses hard and cost the Welsh economy millions of pounds.”