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New Council Rates Powers must be used

Chamber News 30th October 2015

Commenting on the news that local authorities are to assume further powers to reduced business rates at a local level, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“It is good news that local authorities are being given additional powers to help reduce the costs of doing business in Scotland.  Our hope is that local authorities will make use of these new levers to help reduce the burden of business rates, which has grown substantially in recent years.

“The success of this plan will be determined by how widely utilised this power is by local councils and how many businesses in Scotland benefit as a result and we will be closely monitoring this to see how effective the new powers are.

“However we still believe that the current system of business rates in Scotland is not serving businesses well.  For the past five years, rates are based on notional rental values at the peak of the pre-recession market back in 2008 and the revenues raised by rates in Scotland have increased by 40% since 2010.  It is time for a fundamental review of the rating system within the context of the Scottish Parliament’s widening powers over taxation.”

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