The response comes as a consultation by the Welsh government is taking place on the country’s current business rates system, which was due to see a reduction in rates relief from 75% to just 40% in December last year after an announcement from finance minister Rebecca Evans.
WBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “We wholeheartedly welcome the proposed reforms to the business rates system in Wales as they provide the opportunity and flexibility for the Welsh system to provide more accurate business rates and allow the Welsh government to provide targeted support for industry through sector-specific relief.”
She continued: “Pubs across Wales would benefit hugely from a sector-specific business rate multiplier that would allow pubs to flourish and prosper at the heart of their communities.
“This targeted investment from the Welsh government is all the more necessary as pubs in Wales remain around £6,000 a year worse off than their English counterparts due hospitality business rate relief being at around half the rate in Wales as it is in England.
“Economies and communities across Wales will grow with the right support for pubs, and a sector specific business rate multiplier, as well as hospitality rate relief on par with pubs in England, are a significant part of that support.
“If the Government invests in its communities through this support, it will create prosperity, jobs and social value across Wales.”
Bill’s principles under review
The Welsh government is currently considering the general principles of the Local Government Finance (Wales) Bill.
Among the Bill’s proposals, in respect of the non-domestic rates system, are increasing the frequency of revaluations to three yearly, and a power for the Welsh ministers to amend the revaluation year and interval between revaluation years through regulations.
It also proposes conferring regulation-making powers on the Welsh ministers to confer, vary or withdraw reliefs; and conferring a regulation-making power on the Welsh ministers to set differential multipliers based on the description, rateable value or location of a hereditament on the local list, or the rateable value of a hereditament on the central list.