‘ROAD-MAP’ CALL FOR LOCAL TAX REFORM

Scotland’s retailers and consumers need a clear and durable settlement on council tax, Holyrood has been urged.

The Scottish Retail Consortium argues for a coherent strategy rather than a piecemeal approach to ensure local taxes are driving economic growth as well as raising government revenue.

In a paper written in response to the Local Government Committee’s call for evidence, the SRC says any new settlement “must not look to further shift raising revenue from households to already disproportionately affected businesses. Since 2007-8 there has been a 50 per cent increase in the tax revenue from business rates compared to a 9 per cent increase in council tax revenues.

Any settlement must not disproportionately impact on consumer’s disposable incomes, bearing in mind the importance of consumer spending to the Scottish economy.

“The proposed changes could see £170 million raised in taxation. Any greater increases could have deleterious effects upon uncertain consumer confidence.”

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