Page last updated at 15:33 GMT, Tuesday, 23 October 2012 16:33 UK

Statement by the Minister for Business and Enterprise

Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives called on the Business and Enterprise Minister Edwina Hart to be clearer on her position with regard to devolving business rates following her statement o 23 October 2012.

Mrs Hart was responding to the Business Rates Review Task and Finish Group's report which explored the business rates regime in Wales could be used by the government to spur economic growth.

Currently local authorities in Wales are responsible for collecting business rates which they then send to the UK government, who then allocate a block grant back to Wales to redistribute to local councils according to a formula based on population and needs.

The group, which was chaired by Professor Brian Morgan from Cardiff Metropolitan University, recommends that the case for devolving business rates to Wales be considered.

It also recommends and that local authorities be allowed to retain a proportion of the income they generate through business rates.

Mrs Hart said she would refer the matter to the Silk Commission, which looks into the powers of the Welsh assembly.

"Devolving business rates would provide the policy flexibility to enable business rates to support economic development and growth," said the minister.

"But the Silk Commission needs to consider business rates as part of the whole funding settlement.

"Our aim is to secure a comprehensive set of financial reforms for Wales that would include fairer funding and effective borrowing arrangements."

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