William Powell AM stands up for Narberth businesses in Assembly Debate
Gan William Powell
Welsh Liberal Democrat AM for Mid and West Wales, William Powell has today been standing up for businesses in Narberth as part of an Assembly debate on small businesses and business rates.
Speaking in the chamber he said
: "Rural areas are often some of the worst hit by business rate rises in Wales. In particular I want to talk about the problem faced by rural communities who put effort, and local businesses' money, into improving the local community, redecorating and renovating local shops and creating a strong and vibrant high street.
"An example of this is Narberth, in Pembrokeshire, in my region shows the damaging effect that the current business rates regime can have on incentivising this sort of business improvement. Over a series of years, the local businesses in Narberth, along with other parts of the community, were involved in improving Narberth town centre.
"The effect of this was that during the 2008 re-valuation of businesses, the rateable values of a many of these premises was increased. Thus, in 2010, the average increase in business rates was 158%. One premises had to be divided into four to survive.
"Narberth is not the only example, although it is perhaps the most famous. This means that there is a double disincentive for investment - it is not financially viable for businesses to invest in their own premises and there is no incentive for local authorities to invest in economic growth."