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[ 27-11-2012 ]

Commenting on the Scottish Government’s announcements today on the future of Business Rates, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

On the decision to continue to match the English poundage rate:
“This year, Scottish businesses faced an inflation busting increase in business rates of 5.6% - almost double the current rate of RPI inflation.  It is therefore disappointing that this disproportionate rise is likely to be compounded by a likely further increase of 2.6% next year as a result of this announcement by the Scottish Government.  It could have taken a bold pro-business stance and chosen to freeze business rates next year but instead it has chosen to the defer to the UK Government to make the final decision on how much Scottish businesses will pay in rates next year.”
On the decision to defer the next rating revaluation to 2017:
“Scottish ratepayers are suffering as a result of the last rating revaluation, which singularly failed to take account of the worst recession to hit the developed world in over half a century.  The decision to follow suit with England, where – unlike in Scotland – businesses have at least had the protection of transitional relief against sky rocketing rates bills since 2010, and perpetuate this iniquitous settlement until 2017 is concerning, to say the least.”
On the publication of the Scottish Government’s consultation on the review of business rates:
“At long last the Scottish Government has brought forward its consultation on the future of Scottish business rates.  This is a vital opportunity for ratepayers to help shape a fairer and more responsive system of non-domestic rating in Scotland, geared towards delivering a competitive environment for business and boosting Scotland’s economic potential.  The Scottish Government is to be congratulated on taking steps to review Scotland’s rating system and Scottish Chambers of Commerce and our network will be participating fully in this consultation.”