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Business Rates must be controlled -Williams

2009 Hydref 26 3:32 PM

Ceredigion's Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams has today urged theUK Government and the Welsh Assembly Government to work together torestrict increases in business rates, after a revaluation exercise hasleft many small businesses facing huge increases in rates.

Business rates use a formula to determine how much they have to paybased on the rateable value of their premises, which have just beenreassessed by the Valuation Office based on rental values in April 2008- the height of the market.

Formally, rates are set by the Welsh Assembly Government, but in thepast they have largely been constrained by what the UK Governmentdecides, as they have to make up any shortfall in what is raised inWales from their own budget.

Mark Williams has contacted both the Welsh Assembly Government and theUK Government to ask what they are doing to restrict increases.

Commenting, Mark Williams said:

"Any significant increase in business rates would be utter madness atthis point, and the Welsh Assembly Government and UK Government mustmake their plans clear as soon as possible.

"Last week's growth figures show that despite predictions of greenshoots we are still in recession, and the economy is far tooprecariously placed for businesses to be hit with further taxation.

"New rates will apply from April 2010, so there is time to come up witha solution, but this must be announced as soon as possible.

"The last thing we need is a repeat of this year when the freeze inbusiness rates was announced after bills had already gone out, andministers in both Cardiff and Westminster should put together a planthat effectively freezes rates for most businesses as soon as possible."

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