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Permanent small business rate relief for Welsh SMEs from 2018

The Welsh Government has confirmed the extension of the small business rate relief scheme for 2017-18, with the relief set to become a permanent one for small businesses across the country from 2018.

The move will see Welsh SMEs with a rateable value of up to £6,000 continue to secure 100 per cent rate relief, while firms with a rateable value between £6,000 and £12,000 will secure a relief calculated on a sliding scale between 100 and zero per cent.

The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) welcomed the move for small retailers that steadfastly serve the local communities of Wales.

Paul Baxter, chief executive, NFRN, said: “We warmly welcome the Welsh Government’s decision to extend the rate relief.

“Small business rate relief is vital for some of our members who serve their local communities throughout Wales and this is a point that we pressed on Assembly members at the launch of our Agenda for Wales earlier this year.

“We advised how small business rate relief has been crucial in helping independent retailers remain in business during the economic downturn and at a time of declining footfall.

“It is pleasing that our concerns have been both listened to and acted on.”

Nevertheless, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has reacted to the announcement by warning the permanent relief should not be regarded as a direct tax cut for small businesses.

Janet Jones, policy unit chair, FSB Wales, said: “Whilst we welcome the announcement that small business rates relief in Wales is to be put on the same permanent basis as it has in England, to describe such a move as a tax cut for small businesses is blatantly misleading and the worst form of spin-doctoring.

“This announcement contains no changes to the current thresholds that would aid small businesses in Wales, and no mention of a small business multiplier, similar to that which already exists in other parts of the UK.”

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