To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:
1. Recognises that the retail industry employs 130,000 people in Wales, and makes a key contribution to the Welsh economy.
2. Notes that the current shop vacancy rate in Wales stands at almost 14 per cent, and the projected rate of store closures is higher in Wales than anywhere else in the UK over the next two years.
3. Regrets that the Welsh Government has not used innovative and supportive measures to help businesses through their transition to the Valuation Office Agency's revaluations, leaving Welsh businesses to tackle high rates, alongside a system of temporary rebates, and a slow appeals process.
4. Calls on the Welsh Government to:
a) abolish business rates for all businesses with a rateable value of up to £12,000, and provide tapered support for those with a rateable value up to £15,000;
b) take a proactive approach to radically reform the outdated business rates system, and make Wales the flagship nation in addressing the need to provide a more supportive business environment; and
c) place an immediate cap on the multiplier, and a timetabled plan for a gradual reduction in rates.
Business type: Debate
Reason considered: Assembly Business;
First published: 17/11/2016
Decision due: 23 Nov 2016 by Plenary
Lead member: Paul Davies AM