Edwina Hart, Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science
In my recent response to the report on Business Rates prepared by Professor Morgan, I referred to the proposals by the Department for Communities and Local Government to delay the date of the next Non Domestic Rates revaluation exercise to 2017.
I made it clear at the time that I would not take an immediate decision regarding the timing of the revaluation in Wales and that I would be consulting further on this issue.
However, before any decision on the timing of the revaluation can be made, Welsh Ministers need to secure the necessary powers to enable them to make such a decision. Therefore, I have arranged for the tabling of an amendment to the Growth and Infrastructure Bill, which is currently under discussion in the UK Parliament.
The Local Government Finance Act 1988 sets out the current timetable and requires the Welsh Ministers to undertake the revaluation exercise in 2015. The proposed amendment to the Growth and Infrastructure Bill would amend the 1988 Act to give Welsh Ministers the power to choose an alternative date. Ministers would have the option of choosing the 1 April in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020. Once the applicable date is chosen then the five year cycle of revaluations would again be re-established.
As this is an issue over which the National Assembly has Legislative Competence, I will shortly be arranging for the issue of the appropriate Legislative Consent Motion.
I will notify Assembly Members promptly once a decision has been made on the timing of the next revaluation in Wales. In the meantime, I encourage any interested parties to submit their views on this issue to the Welsh Government.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should 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.