Rebecca Evans MS, Minister for Finance and Trefnydd
Today, I am publishing a summary of responses to a recent consultation on the draft Non-Domestic Rating (Unoccupied Property) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations.
The consultation opened on 1 October for a six-week period and closed on 12 November. A range of policy views were put forward in response to the consultation. No issues were raised with the technical aspects of the regulations. The summary of responses is available at: https://gov.wales/empty-property-rates-relief
Views were expressed about the continuing unprecedented economic circumstances and potential emerging changes in the property markets, as a result of Covid-19. As a result, these regulations will be laid in the coming weeks with a commencement date of 1 April 2022, a year later than proposed in the consultation. This will allow businesses and other ratepayers adequate time to prepare for the changes to unoccupied property relief.
I remain committed to reducing instances of fraud and avoidance within the non‑domestic rates system. I will continue to engage with all partners to ensure the efforts of the considerable majority of businesses who pay their fair share towards the cost of local services are not undermined by the few who exploit the system.