GL Hearn responds to the Welsh Government’s proposed review of business rates policy

Following the announcement last week by the Welsh Government to launch an independent review of Business Rates policy in Wales, Andrew Hetherton, Business Rates Director for GL Hearn comments: “This review follows on quickly from the reviews announced in Scotland on using business rates to fund a Health Tax on alcohol and cigarettes and also in Northern Ireland with the announcement of a consultation on supporting small businesses by raising additional revenue through a larger retailer tax. Both schemes have led to concern over the cost such a regressive tax could have on business; a cost which could ultimately undermine development and growth.”

“Whilst the formation of the review group is welcomed, it is essential for the Government to consult on its findings. Especially important is a commitment to ensure that any proposed changes are implemented in a timeframe that allows businesses to budget efficiently. Far too often proposals are put forward which are inadequately thought-thorough and don’t allow sufficient time for businesses to plan and budget for proposed changes.”

An independent working group has been set up by Business and Enterprise Minister, Edwina Hart. Led by Professor Brian Morgan, the group will consider current Welsh Business Rates policy and whether these policies meet the needs of Welsh business.