§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has undertaken concerning the level of the uniform business rate charged on Wales in respect of its impact on small shops in town centres; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jon Owen Jones
The White Paper "Local Voices, Modernising Local Government in Wales" (Cm 4028) said that when the Government introduce local rates they will consider introducing measures to reduce the rating burden on small businesses. Discussions on implementing these proposals are already underway with a range of business representatives, including the Federation of Small Businesses Wales.
Following the transfer of functions this will be a matter for the National Assembly.