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Sunday, 24 January 2010

Plaid provides reassurances to Cardigan small businesses

Plaid Cymru has been visiting local businesses in Cardigan to discuss their concerns about the impending increase in business rates.

Plaid Cymru’s Elin Jones AM and Penri James joined Cardigan County Councillors John Adams-Lewis and Catrin Miles to visit local traders and highlight what steps have already been taken by the Assembly Government to provide assistance.

The Local Government Minister in Cardiff Bay recently announced that thresholds to qualify for small business rate relief in Wales will increase by at least 20 per cent. The multiplier used to calculate the amount of business rates payable will also be reduced in Wales from 0.489 to 0.409.

However, the revaluation of business premises in England and Wales which is being organised by the Valuation Office Agency – an executive department of the non-devolved HMRC – will go ahead.

Following the tour of Cardigan’s small traders, Plaid Cymru’s Penri James said:

“I was very pleased to visit local businesses in Cardigan to hear first-hand their concerns about the impending business rates increases.

“In the current economic climate, I’m disappointed that the Westminster government isn’t providing more support to businesses and are instead conducting this revaluation of properties and increasing the employer national insurance contributions, which is little more than a tax on jobs.

“Unfortunately, the ability of the Assembly to respond is limited by the settlement that it receives through the Barnett Formula and this emphasises the need for a comprehensive review of how Wales is funded, as advocated by the Holtham Commission and the House of Lords”.

Ceredigion AM Elin Jones added:

“I’m glad that the Assembly Government has been able to provide some assistance to small traders who will see their business rates increase as a result of the Westminster-initiated revaluation of properties. The businesses we visited in Cardigan were pleased to know that steps are being taken in Cardiff Bay on this issue in recognition of the difficulties they face”.

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