FSB alarm at proposed rates changes

Tens of thousands of small businesses could face big business rates hikes as a consequence of a decision made today by a Scottish Parliament committee.

Today at the Local Government committee, opposition MSPs united to force through a Stage 2 amendment 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.

Stuart Mackinnon, FSB’s external affairs manager for Scotland, said: “Across Scotland, small businesses will be alarmed to hear that nationwide rate relief for smaller operators is under threat.

“This Bill is supposed to be looking at new ways to make the rates system more user friendly and introduce more frequent revaluations. Instead, we see a policy adopted which could costs businesses far more than the tourism tax or the workplace parking levy. At the earliest opportunity parliamentarians must put this significant Bill back on track.”