Scottish Budget Must Reverse Cycle of Low Growth

Date Posted: 13 Dec, 2023

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce have urged the government to use next week’s Holyrood budget to incentivise businesses, investment and job creation to break the cycle of low growth.

Business leaders have also called on Holyrood ministers to prioritise non-domestic rates relief and avoid additional income tax burdens.

They have set out three key priorities for the Scottish government ahead of Tuesday’s budget:

  • Non-Domestic Rates: Replicate the 75% discount on business rates for retail, hospitality, leisure firms for RHL businesses in Scotland as recently extended by the UK Government for RHL firms in England & Wales.
  • Income Tax: Rule out any further divergence from the rest of the UK on income tax bands.
  • Regulation: No anti-business regulatory policies to be introduced for the remainder of this Parliamentary term.

Dr Liz Cameron CBE, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“A shift in mindset is needed in Scotland which promotes entrepreneurship and incentivises business growth and job creation. The decisions taken by Scottish Ministers now will determine the fate of our economy for decades to come. That’s why we need this Scottish Budget to prioritise economic growth and investment to reverse the cycle of low growth.”

On Scottish rate of income tax, Dr Cameron continued:

“The cost-of-living crisis has impacted on people’s finances, and we would urge ministers to avoid creating additional income tax burdens. We badly need to restore confidence in the economy and putting more money into people’s pockets helps drive growth.”

On the hospitality and retail sectors, Dr Cameron said:

“The hospitality and retail industries have been hit particularly hard over the past few years and recovery remains fragile. The budget needs to offer much needed support and reflect their importance to the Scottish economy.”