Conservatives call for £250million pandemic relief fund

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The Conservatives have called for a 5-year, £250million programme to assist towns expected to be hardest hit economically by the coronavirus pandemic.

Their proposals include creating business rate free zones – in which business will be exempt from business rates for three years – as well as a blanket exemption from business rates for those businesses with a rateable value of less than £15,000.

Ten towns in Wales are expected to be amongst the most economically-vulnerable from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic across the UK including Rhyl, Ebbw Vale, Maesteg and Llanelli.

The Welsh Government said their ability to carry forward funds from one year to the next was capped at £350million, adding that the Conservatives should argue on Wales’ behalf for the UK Government to provide a more generous financial settlement.