With budget confirmation that the UK government is holding a wide-ranging review of business rates in England to report by Budget 2016, David Martin, Scottish Retail Consortium Head of Policy & External Affairs, has stepped up the pressure for a similar review in Scotland.
He says the current system of business rates “is not fit for purpose and acts as a drag on Scottish economic growth. It acts as a disincentive to invest and unlike any other national tax it fails to flex with economic circumstances. 69 per cent of MSPs agree that current system is in need of reform.”
The Retail Consortium’s call for a comprehensive reform of business rates is backed by a wide range of businesses and representative groups.
“The announcement, whilst good news for ratepayers in England, does not apply to Scotland. This should concentrate minds in the Scottish Government, as it is no longer an option to say that fundamental reform is too difficult or complicated – that particular ship has sailed.
“Scotland can choose to stand still but, with the promise of reform elsewhere in the UK, risks leaving businesses in Scotland at a competitive disadvantage.”