Call for Scottish business rates reforms

David Martin

The Scottish Retail Consortium has called for the Scottish Government to act following the announcement of a review of business rates in England.

The review sets out a range of important questions, some of which go to the fundamental nature of the tax including whether it should remain property-based.

David Martin (pictured), Scottish Retail Consortium Head of Policy & External Affairs, said the announcement should concentrate minds in the Scottish Government, where business rates is a devolved issue, and that it was no longer an option to say that fundamental reform is too difficult or complicated.

“The current system of business rates is not fit for purpose and acts as a drag on Scottish economic growth,” added Martin. “It acts as a disincentive to invest and unlike any other national tax it fails to flex with economic circumstances. 69% of MSPs agree that current system is in need of reform.”

The SRC recently launched a comprehensive case for reform of business rates in Scotland which was backed by a wide range of businesses and representative groups.

Martin concluded: “Scotland can choose to stand still but the promise of reform elsewhere in the UK risks leaving businesses in Scotland at a competitive disadvantage.”