A TYPICAL local pub in Wales could be thousands of pounds poorer than its English equivalent when the Welsh Government slashes its discount on business rates.

That is according to Conservative MP for Monmouth, David TC Davies, who is urging ministers in Cardiff Bay to "re-consider" their decision not to extend a 75 per cent relief.

Business rates, which are also known as non-domestic rates, are charged on most non-domestic properties including factories, shops and pubs. For the next financial year, which starts in April, Welsh businesses will only be eligible for a discount of 40 per cent.

Welsh secretary Mr Davies worries the decision could be the “final nail in the coffin” for some of Monmouth’s rural pubs.

“Many of our pubs are grappling with rising costs and still bouncing back from the Covid pandemic,” he said. “Removing support for business rates bills is disastrous and immediately puts pubs at a competitive disadvantage to their counterparts in England.”

The Welsh Government told the Argus it has a “generous system” of reliefs which mean almost half of ratepayers do not pay rates at all.

Mr Davies said the Welsh Government have the money to provide the same relief as in England but have "chosen to spend it elsewhere".

“They deserve support to remain open and to keep thriving – not to be punished," he said. "The harsh reality is this could well result in more closures and more pubs being lost for good.”

'Not just sad for publicans'

Debbie Zsigo, owner of The Lion Inn in Trellech, said: “I have sadly seen a good handful of local inns shut for good.

South Wales Argus: Debbie Zsigo, owner of The Lion Inn, says she has seen a good handful of local inns closeDebbie Zsigo, owner of The Lion Inn, says she has seen a good handful of local inns close (Image: David TC Davies)

“This is not just sad for the publicans, but house values lower as amenities disappear and communities find it more difficult to be a cohesive unit with the local inns gone.

“We cannot allow this to continue.”

Simon Key, owner of The Nag’s Head in Usk, said the reduced discount amounted to a “hammer blow”.

'Generous system'

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are providing a package of rates support worth £134 million next year on top of our permanent relief schemes, which are worth £250 million a year.

“Thanks to our generous system of full reliefs, almost half of ratepayers, including thousands of small businesses across Wales, do not pay rates at all.

“We are providing a fifth successive year of support for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with their rates bills, at a cost of £78m. This builds on the almost £1bn of support provided in rates relief schemes to these sectors since 2020-21.

“A new £20m capital fund will also be developed for 2024/25 to provide support to help retail, leisure and hospitality businesses future-proof their businesses.”