A LABOUR council is calling on the Welsh Government to maintain business rate relief for shops and pubs at the same level as England. 

The Welsh Government will reduce business rate relief for the hospitality industry from 75 per cent to 40 per cent from April so it can divert more funds to the NHS with other areas facing cuts in funding. 

Ben Callard, the Labour cabinet member responsible for finance on Monmouthshire County Council, said as a border county it is at “increased risk” of businesses relocating to England due to the higher rate relief still being available there. 

Conservative councillor for Llangybi Fawr Fay Bromfield asked if the council would “put pressure” on the Labour run Welsh Government to “restore” the 75 per cent rate. 

She warned increasing the rates shops, pubs and restaurants must pay could lead to “many more shutting their doors”. 

Cllr Callard replied: “We are of course committed to lobbying for the business rate relief to be restored.” 

The Welsh Government has previously said the 75 per cent rate was introduced as a temporary measure during the pandemic and wasn’t intended to continue indefinitely.

He added council leader Mary Ann Brocklesby would be making the case at the Welsh Local Government Association meeting with Senedd Members and had also represented the council as the Senedd finance committee as it scrutinised the Welsh Government’s draft budget.