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Review takes shape

Barclay names three advisers on business rates

Ken BarclayFormer RBS executive Ken Barclay has announced the team who will advise the Scottish government on its review of business rates.

Weber Shandwick regional chairman Nora Senior joins Isobel d’Inverno, from law firm Brodies, and Prof Russel Griggs, chairman of the Scottish government’s regulatory review group.

Ms Senior is also chairman of Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

Mr Barclay (pictured) said: “As a group we will consider how business rates can respond to wider economic conditions and support business growth and long-term investment.

“Our aim is to bring forward recommendations that seek to enhance and reform the system to better support business growth and reflect changing marketplaces whilst still maintaining the level of income necessary to provide funding for services upon which businesses rely.

“To help us achieve this task, I would urge all businesses to make their views known on the way forward for our rates system.

“For the next three months we will be asking businesses, large and small, across the length and breadth of Scotland to contribute to our conversation so we can design a solution together.”

Andy Willox, Scottish policy convener at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The Scottish government’s landmark rate relief scheme continues to give Scottish small firms a helping hand.

“But with new rates help for small firms being deployed in England from April 2017, and many organisations highlighting that the current system is outdated, now is absolutely the right time to develop a plan for reform.

“While FSB will be submitting evidence, we would make the case for all Scottish small business owners to ensure their voices are heard.”

David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium said: “The Barclay Review heralds a great opportunity to recast business rates for the decades ahead and deliver a modern, sustainable and competitive rates system in Scotland.

“A reformed system and substantially lower tax burden would improve retailers’ confidence about investing in new or refurbished premises and help revive town centres.”

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