1. ITV Report

Welsh Government says it's doing more on business rates

Business rates can be a major cost for small firms trying to stay on the high street Photo: ITV News

The Welsh Government says its small business rates relief scheme means that half the firms liable for the tax will in fact pay nothing. It claims that's a better deal than what the Chancellor has announced for England, where only a third will be completely exempt from paying the tax.

We'll provide £20 million of Welsh Government money in the next financial year to help with the impact of business rates. Everything the Chancellor is giving us in Wales for business rates would come to £12 million. If I was matching what he's doing in England, I'd be cutting the help that we're offering to businesses in Wales, not adding to it. We're doing well more than the Chancellor is doing for businesses in England

– Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford AM

But although Mr Drakeford says he's being more generous to small businesses than Philip Hammond, that's been flatly contradicted by the Secretary of State for Wales.

Now the Chancellor has announced significant support for that sort of business in England, I hope the Welsh Government will meet the challenge and carry on a similar level of support in Wales. And not only saying that they've got a scheme in place already. It's half as generous as the scheme is in England. This is their chance to balance up with the generosity the Chancellor is showing to those small businesses in England.

– Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns MP

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