Published: 29th Nov 2019

Business leaders in Scotland have warned firms could be treated as ‘cash cows’ after MSPs moved to give councils control over business rates. Members of the Scottish local government committee backed an amendment earlier this week to the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill that could see councils take full control of the Scottish rates system and may end Scotland-wide small business and charitable rate relief. It remains to be seen if the amendment will survive further discussion and a fresh vote in the Scottish Parliament itself, but the move was swiftly condemned by the Scottish Retail Consortium and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). ‘Allowing each of Scotland’s 32 councils to set the poundage rate in their area is an alarming and retrograde step, and flies in the face of the Bill’s aims and the thrust of the rates reform agenda,’ said Scottish Retail Consortium director, David Lonsdale. ‘Councils are already … (To read the full article, subscribe below)