SGF welcomes retailer-friendly budget proposals

Pete Cheema

Scottish Grocers Federation has broadly welcomed several key measures announced in the Scottish government’s draft budget for 2017-2018.

In his statement to the Scottish Parliament, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Derek Mackay MSP, announced a cut of 3.7% to the business rate poundage and that 100,000 properties would become completely exempt from business rates through an increase in the small business bonus scheme threshold.

SGF chief executive Pete Cheema (pictured) said: “These are exactly the measures we have argued for in both our 2016 election manifesto and in our recent submission to the business rates review. We also made the case for these measures when the Cabinet Secretary attended our cross-party group meeting in November. At last we are seeing some action from government to tackle the cumulative impact of cost pressures on retailers. We will be engaging with opposition MSPs to ensure they support these measures when the draft budget comes to a parliamentary vote in early 2017.”

Mackay also announced that the threshold for the large business supplement will be increased to £51,000, restricting liability to the very largest businesses and excluding 8,000 business properties. The draft budget will now be subject to further parliamentary scrutiny before a final vote next year.

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