Jenny Willott MP and Eluned Parrott AM call for charity business rate re-think

August 13, 2013 3:28 PM

ElunedandJennytalk

Jenny Willott, MP for Cardiff Central and Eluned Parrott, AM for South Wales Central, visited The British Heart Foundation's furniture and electrical shop on Crwys Road store to learn more about how proposed changes to charity shop business rates will lead to a loss of income for the charity and more empty shops on high streets across Wales.

Jenny Willott said: "Charity shops play an important role in our high street - bringing in customers, filling shops that might otherwise be empty and providing cheap goods for those who are struggling. All of that is on top of the difference they make in society with the money they then raise. Cutting their rate relief would damage this and I hope that the Welsh Labour Government will reconsider scrapping plans to cut rate relief."

Eluned Parrott said: "The work that charity shops do and the services provided through sales can not be underestimated. The Welsh Labour Government have created a worrying air of uncertainty in this valuable sector and that uncertainty has the potential to cost jobs both in these stores and in the sectors they help finance and support."

A recent report commissioned by Welsh Government has called for cuts to the rate relief given to charity shops in Wales. British Heart Foundation shop staff and volunteers in the Crwys Road store told the Jenny Willott MP and Eluned Parrott AM that those changes would mean substantial hikes in business rates and threaten their shop's survival.

Ceri Winter, Area Manager for British Heart Foundation Cymru's Furniture and Electrical shops, said: "We're delighted that Jenny and Eluned dropped in to our store in Cardiff to hear our concerns and meet staff and volunteers.

"Donated goods such as sofas and fridges for our Furniture and Electrical stores are the lifeblood of the fight against heart disease and donations to this shop have already recently helped us provide funding for 15 specialist heart nurses, 49 life-saving defibrillator machines and two heart support groups in the Cardiff area, to help in the fight against heart disease.

"If these rate proposals go ahead particularly limiting the relief for shops with a Rateable Value above £36,000, it would severely affect stores such as this in Cardiff, which would be faced with an extra £9,000 annual rates bill - an extra £150,000 countrywide if all our shops in Wales stayed open" she added.

For more information on the campaign contact Delyth Lloyd, BHF Cymru Press Office on 02920 382406 or lloydd@bhf.org.uk

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