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Welsh Government warned over impact of cut to business rate relief for shops and pubs

22 Jan 2024 2 minute read
A pint of beer being poured

Twm Owen, local democracy reporter

The Welsh Government is being urged to maintain business rate relief for shops and pubs at the same level as England.

The Government is set to reduce business rate relief for the hospitality industry from 75 per cent to 40 per cent from April so it can divert more funds to the NHS in Wales, with other areas facing cuts in funding.


Ben Callard, the Labour cabinet member responsible for finance on Monmouthshire County Council, said as a border county it is at “increased risk” of businesses relocating to England due to the higher rate relief still being available there.

Conservative councillor for Llangybi Fawr Fay Bromfield asked if the council would “put pressure” on the Labour run Welsh Government to “restore” the 75 per cent rate.

She warned increasing the rates shops, pubs and restaurants must pay could lead to “many more shutting their doors”.

Cllr Callard replied: “We are of course committed to lobbying for the business rate relief to be restored.”

The Welsh Government has previously said the 75 per cent rate was introduced as a temporary measure during the pandemic and wasn’t intended to continue indefinitely.

He added council leader Mary Ann Brocklesby would be making the case at the Welsh Local Government Association meeting with Senedd Members and had also represented the council as the Senedd finance committee as it scrutinised the Welsh Government’s draft budget.

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5 months ago

This clamour to continue business rate relief makes us question whether some of these ventures are in any way sustainable. After all only weeks or months ago there was another round of concern about the uprating of the Minimum Wage/ Living Wage. Ventures that can’t meet their obligations to workers and to the wider community are in effect calling out for life long subsidies. Is that what we want for a “sound” economic footing ?

Jonathan Stanway
Jonathan Stanway
5 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Business rates are outdated and penalise bricks and mortar businesses whilst giving advantage to online retailers etc.

A small high street retailer could be paying £280 plus per square metre of shop floor space in business rates whilst Amazon is paying £40 per square metre for warehouse space.

It needs to be scrapped completely and revenues generated through taxation on profits instead, the current system is just simply unfair

5 months ago

The reason for pubs and restaurants closing down is pretty clear really. Prices in these establishments have rocketed more than they should have over recent years. Instead of proprietors lowering their prices to fill their restaurants and pubs they are increasing them which drives customers away. Then we have local government giving them handouts to finance their greed. What’s that popular phrase: “stack it high, sell it cheap.” Business people want to become rich overnight for doing practically nowt. Went to a pub the other day and ordered two pints. Handed over a tenner and was asked for anothe £3!!!… Read more »

5 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Your an idiot , I own a pub costs have risen so much , energy costs were capped and subsided for domestic but not commercial our electricity bill was 7k a year it’s now 23k ? We negotiated our rent to market average but buissness rates are set by government our rents 18k a year from 24k.. but rates are still set at 28k ? And add that to the loans we are paying taken out to keep the business going through COVID and as everyone knows food cost have gone through the roof and your answer is to sell… Read more »

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
5 months ago

There is a case for the reform of Business rate to include an element that takes profits & income into the accessments.

We should have more control on the corporation tax and company regististration should not be an ‘England and Wales’ thing – If you trade and earn profit in Wales it should be taxed in Wales and receipts to the Wales government budget.

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