To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:
1. Believes that:
a) small businesses constitute the economic and social heart of the Welsh high street but that the current business rates regime significantly disadvantages retailers in small towns and cities;
b) business rates are inherently inequitable because they bear little, if any, relation to business profitability and they have a chilling effect on town centres by adding significant costs to the establishment of new businesses;
c) reducing the impact of business rates would help businesses survive the challenges posed by internet shopping and give a significant boost to the high street.
2. Resolves that:
a) as an interim measure, pending the replacement of business rates by a tax related to ability to pay, business premises with a rateable value below £15,000 should be exempt and the rates of business properties within the band of £15,000 - £50,000 are reduced by 20%;
b) Welsh local authorities should encourage local trade by offering at least 60 minutes free parking in their town centre car parks;
c) out-of-town shopping developments should bear a greater but reasonable share of the burden of business rates, and such rates should apply to their car parks, to help revive town centres.
Business type: Debate
Reason considered: Assembly Business;
First published: 05/10/2017
Decision due: 11 Oct 2017 by Plenary