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SCC NETWORK INITIAL RESPONSE: MINISTERIAL STATEMENT - RESPONSE TO THE REPORT OF THE BARCLAY REVIEW ON NON-DOMESTIC RATES

[ 12-09-2017 ]

SCC NETWORK INITIAL RESPONSE: MINISTERIAL STATEMENT - RESPONSE TO THE REPORT OF THE BARCLAY REVIEW ON NON-DOMESTIC RATES

 

Scottish Chambers of Commerce is encouraged by Cabinet Secretary for Finance Derek Mackay’s speedy pledge to enact business-friendly recommendations on non-domestic rates in the Barclay Review, and urges him to maintain the pace in making the changes. 

SCC welcomes Mr Mackay’s commitment to involve business in rates policy that - especially during downturns - can make the difference between life and death for Scottish businesses.

The network’s Business Rates Advisory Group will study the statement in detail, and seek further engagement with the Scottish Government to address any remaining barriers to our shared aim of making Scotland the best place in the UK to invest. 

SCC is especially heartened by the Government's commitment to implementing more frequent revaluations, the expansion of Fresh Start Relief, including all types of property and a review focused on plant and machinery investment.

Brian Rogan, Chair of the SCC Network Business Rates Advisory Group and Head of Rating in Scotland for CBRE Ltd, said:

"We welcome the Cabinet Secretary's steps to introduce more frequent revaluations, to avoid repeat of the shocks faced by businesses in the last 12 months.

"It is heartening to see Mr Mackay going further than the Barclay Review, by expanding Fresh Start Relief to encompass all types of property. In addition, we are encouraged to see that no new build property will pay rates until initial occupancy and a one-year rates “holiday” through the Business Growth Accelerator.

"But we need to stick to Barclay’s timetable to end the Large Business Supplement by 2020, levelling the playing field with the rest of the UK for 21,000 commercial premises, and damaging Scotland’s attractiveness to investors.

“We also have outstanding concerns over the transparency and responsiveness of local the rates revaluation system, and no less seriously over the commercial property expertise, consistency and impartiality of the local assessment bodies. We welcome the opportunity for further dialogue with Mr Mackay to explain why some SCC Network members are unhappy about their options for appealing what they see as unfair or damaging assessments.“

 

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