Responding to the Welsh Government’s u-turn on 100% business rates exemptions for all retail, leisure and hospitality firms to help tide them through the coronavirus crisis, Sara Jones, Head of the Welsh Retail Consortium, said:

 

“It is extremely disappointing that the Welsh Government has reversed its commitment, made only last week, to provide all retailers in Wales with a year-long full business rates relief to help them through the coronavirus crisis. With huge new Barnett Consequential revenues coming to Wales from the UK Government, it is astonishing to find Welsh Ministers walking back on their pledge to match the rates relief being applied elsewhere in GB. We are at a loss as to why Ministers think firms operating here in Wales are undeserving of the fiscal support on offer to comparable firms in England and Scotland.

 

“Many retailers who are crucial to sustaining thousands of jobs in communities across Wales will already have taken decisions in light of last week’s decision. Many have had to shut their shops over recent days, and the immense cash flow challenges and decisions on jobs which they face due to this unprecedented coronavirus crisis have just got immeasurably tougher.”

 

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Note: Earlier today the ‘Business Wales’ website (on the Coronavirus page) confirmed that “Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses receive 100% business rates relief for the financial year 2020/21.”

 

Note 2: The Welsh Government’s rates reversal announced this evening: https://gov.wales/written-statement-response-covid-19-economic-crisis