Rates hike

Big properties in Scotland face £63m bill for ninth year

Large shops are among those hit by the extra rates bill

For the ninth consecutive year more than 11,000 Scottish premises will pay more than £60m in rates compared to their English counterparts.

The Scottish Government released figures for 2024-25 which will mean an estimated 11,670 properties with a rateable value of more than £100,000 will collectively face an extra bill of £62.7m on top of their rates.

Scottish Retail Consortium director David Lonsdale called for parity with England, which does not enforce a higher property charge.

The Large Business Rates Supplement in Scotland was introduced in April 2016 despite being described as “damaging perceptions” of Scotland’s competitiveness by the Barclay Rates Review, which called for parity with England to be restored by Spring 2020.

Confirmation of the new charges came in response to a written parliamentary question from Mid Scotland & Fife MSP Liz Smith.

Mr Lonsdale said: “This discrepancy is set to continue for a ninth consecutive year from April, four years past the timeline recommended by the government’s own Barclay Rates Review.

“Medium-sized and larger stores across Scotland underpin the vitality of our town and city centres and employ the majority of retail workers.

“This higher business rate makes it more expensive to operate a shop on our high streets and retail destinations. It holds back commercial investment and hampers retailers’ ability to become more productive.

“We remain baffled as to why Scottish ministers think stores and other businesses operating in Scotland are better placed to be stumping up more in rates than firms in England. We need to see ministers commit to restoring the level playing field with England and delivering it at a faster pace.”

Of those premises affected, about 2,410 are shops, 590 hotels, 1,770 offices, and 190 are pubs.

One critic noted that out-of-town retailers already have lower rates and offer free parking which puts those in town and city centres at a further disadvantage.

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