Opposition to bill change

More trade groups join campaign against rates plan

Andy Wightman’s proposal has drawn criticism (pic: Terry Murden)

UPDATED 6 DEC: The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) has added its voice to six other organisations opposed to a proposal to fragment the business rates system.

Opposition MSPs have voted for an amendment to the Non-Domestic Rates Bill proposed by Andy Wightman of the Green Party that would remove the ability of Scottish Ministers to set the business rates poundage and hand greater powers to local councils.

The SLTA said it is in “complete disbelief at the totally ill-conceived ideology and reckless actions of the Conservative, Labour and Green parties to drag business back 25 years by scrapping the current uniform business rate (UBR) system.”

It is the latest trade group to express concern. The Scottish Grocers Federation, Association of Convenience Stores, the Scottish Beer & Pub Association and the Scottish Tourism Alliance offered support to three trade groups – the Federation of Small Businesses Scotland, the Scottish Retail Consortium and UKHospitality – who met Finance Secretary Derek Mackay in Stirling on Wednesday to discuss their concerns.

The SLTA said that while the current system has major problems, particularly for the licensed hospitality trade, progress was being made. However, it suggests that this latest development will raise grave concerns for all Scottish businesses.

The SLTA points out that already a large proportion of Scottish businesses are disadvantaged compared with other areas of the UK and this will only add to the problem and bring more uncertainty, increased costs for businesses and a lack of further investment.

One Comment to More trade groups join campaign against rates plan

  1. My art glass business is a beneficiary of the SBBS. Without it I will be £1000+ a year more out of pocket, just at a time when I decided to stay in Scotland all year and cease trading at expensive craft shows down south. I have been an FSB member for 14 years.
    My studio is a leaky, unheated retired Church of Scotland with no drinking water and an ancient loo. The value of the whole building is only twice what I would be expected to pay a year in rates.

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