Welsh Conservatives have called for what they describe as the “farcical money-go-round” of school business rates to be scrapped so that the cash can be spent where it is needed: improving the attainment of pupils in Wales.
Between 2016 and 2020, Welsh schools have paid over £112 million in business rates, and although the amounts paid were generally consistent, in the years 2018-19 and 2019-20, schools paid an extra £11.3 million in business rates, an increase of around 44 percent.
Russell George MS, the Shadow Minister for Economy, said:
“This is money that should be spent on supporting children and young people, helping those from more disadvantaged backgrounds, and improving education attainment, because let’s not forget that on Labour’s watch, Wales has consistently ranked bottom out of the UK nations in the PISA ratings.
“It’s time the farcical money-go-round of schools paying business rates ended and that this money goes where it’s needed: on education.”
Matt Smith, Welsh Conservative candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan, added:
“Public funds must reach the front line by the shortest journey possible. It is absurd that schools must pay business rates, which can be in excess of £300,000.
"The Welsh Labour government has failed to properly fund councils and schools. They have also failed to exempt more schools of business rates, despite having the power to do so."