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12 March 2014

FSB welcomes 2% cap on Welsh business rates rise

Reference number: PR070114

FSB Welsh Policy Unit Chair Janet Jones said: "Since the Chancellor announced a month ago that business rate rises were to be capped at 2% in England, businesses in Wales have been waiting to see if Wales would follow suit.

"We welcome the Welsh Government's decision to do so, as if Wales was to see bigger increases than in England or Scotland, which has also capped the rise at 2%, it would have sent out a very negative message to businesses in Wales and beyond.

"This decision will give some badly-needed respite to hard-pressed businesses on Wales' high streets, but it doesn't change the fact that the business rates system is fundamentally broken, with business rates bills often bearing little relation to the rental values on which they are notionally based.

"Because of the formula used here in Wales, small businesses here also face higher bills than those with similar valuations elsewhere in the UK. Professor Brian Morgan has been asked to carry out further work in this area, and with the full devolution of business rates there is now a real opportunity to reform the system to assist businesses in creating jobs and growth in communities across Wales."