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Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport

First published:
10 April 2015
Last updated:

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This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep Members informed. If Members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.

Business rates are now devolved to Wales. This is an historic milestone. Taking control of this tax in Wales brings both opportunity and responsibility.
I recently published the Business Rates Panel findings. These recommended short term stability in the business rates regime and emphasised the importance of maintaining a competitive offer to business.

I have already announced a number of measures to support jobs and growth. We have introduced the extension of Small Business Rates Relief until March 2016, and agreed to continue to place a cap on the business rates multiplier at 2% in 2015-16.

In addition to this, I am pleased to announce my intention to extend the Wales Retail Relief Scheme, the benefit of which will be increased to £1500 in 2015-16. This will provide much needed support for businesses right across Wales.

I will also begin work to look at the longer term recommendations made by the Business Rates Panel, including any changes that may be needed to other rate relief schemes. I will provide a further update to Members in due course.

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