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Certainty For Scottish Businesses

6th February 2020

Tens of thousands of businesses across Scotland will continue to benefit from vital business rates relief put in place by the Scottish Government.

MSPs have voted to support the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill at stage three, which will now be translated into legislation.

The bill will implement the changes to business rates recommended by the independent Barclay Review, such as three year revaluations and improved anti-avoidance and debt recovery powers for councils.

The vote removed a stage two amendment to devolve business rates to councils and abolish almost £300 million of rates relief.

Last week Public Finance Minister Kate Forbes issued an open letter to all MSPs highlighting the potentially damaging impact of this, once again setting out the Scottish Government's unequivocal backing for the current uniform business rate.

Ms Forbes said:"The majority of these reforms have been widely welcomed by businesses and councils alike. They will modernise the system, tackle tax avoidance and address long term frustrations with the appeals system as well as protecting vital business rates relief offered by the Scottish Government.

"This Non-Domestic Rates Bill is too important to play games with and I'm pleased Parliament has supported this Bill and returned it to its original purpose of implementing the Barclay Review of Non-Domestic Rates."

The Scottish Budget - 6 February 2020

Following the resignation today of Finance Minister Derek Mackay

the minister for public finance, Kate Forbes, will present today's Scottish Government budget setting out actions to support the economy, back our people and public services, and tackle the climate crisis, and that remains the government's focus.'

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