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Trade groups demand action

Mackay urged to cut business rates to match England

Derek Mackay

Derek Mackay: urged to eliminate surcharge (pic: Terry Murden)


 

Further pressure has been piled on Finance Secretary Derek Mackay to bring Scotland’s additional business rates burden into line with England.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce is the latest trade group to call for the level playing field with England on the large business rates supplement to be restored.

Scottish Ministers doubled the supplement in 2016 to 2.6p in the pound in Scotland while it remains 1.3p in the pound in England, and comes on top of the headline poundage rate. It applies to 22,011 shops, hotels, pubs, offices, and factories in Scotland and has cost them an additional £195 million in total over the past three years.

The CBI, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Property Federation, SCDI, Beer & Pub Federation and the Scottish Retail Consortium are among those who have lodged their demands for a cut to Holyrood’s Local Government Committee.

David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “A formidable alliance of representatives from Scottish commerce and industry are seeking clear action to reduce the large business rates supplement.

“Encouraging headway is being made on rates reform, particularly on more regular revaluations, however the overall rates burden remains onerous and the poundage rate is now at a 20-year high.

“We hope the Finance Secretary will take heed and act in his next Budget to eliminate this Scotland-only surcharge, restoring the level playing field with England on the supplement as advocated by the Barclay Rates Review.”

The Barclay Rates Review said parity with England on the supplement should be restored by April 2020.



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