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|Ruth Davidson talks local resilience and rates freeze at FSB conference|
|Monday, 21 March 2016|
Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, has addressed FSB’s UK conference in Glasgow, highlighting the wins for small business in UK Budget and her party’s business proposals for the Scottish Parliament elections. She argued that business rates in Scotland should be frozen until the wider system is reformed.
Ruth Davidson said: “As the FSB says in its manifesto for the Scottish elections, we can't buck the global economy, but we can position ourselves to become more resilient.”
She also outlined the need to support more firms who are internationally minded but locally owned. To tackle skills shortages, she made the case for a network of skills academies. Further, the Scottish Conservative leader made the case for a business rates freeze while the system is reformed.
Ms Davidson continued: “So, while the business rates system remains in place, we will argue the poundage rate should be frozen. Frozen for as long as it takes that review to happen - all parliament if needs be.”
Reacting to the speech, Andy Willox, FSB’s Scottish policy convenor, said: “Firms outside the scope of the Small Business Bonus scheme – especially those in high value premises like small hotels – will welcome plans to freeze their bills. We also support efforts to develop a vocational education system which works for smaller firms.
“The need to develop stronger local businesses and stronger local economies is at the heart of current FSB thinking in Scotland. It’s heartening to hear Ruth and the Scottish Conservatives echo many of these sentiments.”
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