Call for review of business rates

WFWSHIRES_Page_02_Image_0003FROM April 1, many businesses will see their business rates increasing dramatically, crippling many rural businesses and prompting the FUW to call on Chancellor Philip Hammond to use his budget to reduce the huge increases. The last time rates were set was seven years ago, but property price changes since then have led to big winners and losers. Rates will fall for 920,000 businesses, remain the same for another 420,000, and increase for 510,000 across the UK. Under the current scheme, business premises with a rateable value of up to £6,000 will receive 100 per cent relief and those with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000 will receive relief on a tapered basis from 100 per cent to zero. To highlight the point, the Meirionnydd branch of the FUW met with their local MP Liz Saville Roberts to discuss the alarming increases, how business rates are set, and that the basis for the rates can differentiate between businesses. FUW Meirionnydd county executive officer Huw Jones said: “This is an issue which would greatly affect the Dwyfor Meirionnydd constituency, which is considered one of the poorest throughout the UK in terms of household income. “But it will also have a devastating effect across Wales and our rural communities. Some businesses are seeing hykes of £15,000 or more, threatening their viability.” FUW head of policy Dr Nick Fenwick, said: “We have written to the Chancellor to highlight the extreme impact these changes will have on large numbers of businesses, but we would also urge businesses to contact their MPs and AMs. “Many farm businesses which have tried to make up for falls in income by diversifying are now seeing their efforts wiped out by this rise.” Those who think they may be affected can visit www.gov.uk to check the rateable value of their property set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and used by local councils to calculate business rates. The site can also be used to request changes to property or valuation details if you believe the VOA figures are wrong.

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