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FSB: Business Rates move lifts Scottish small firms’ prospects PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 December 2016
Today Cabinet Secretary for Finance Derek Mackay presented his draft Budget to the Scottish Parliament. 

Andy Willox, FSB’s Scottish policy convenor, said: “As Mr Mackay underlined, the health of our economy has never been more directly linked to Holyrood’s spending power. So it was vital that this was a budget with business and growth at its heart. By giving full rates relief to 100,000 Scottish firms, the government has lifted the prospects of smaller businesses facing a tough 2017.

“We’re pleased to seeing funding for better broadband – we’d like to see this targeted on rural firms and those in business parks whose connections lag behind those the wider population takes for granted. We’ve a digital mountain to climb to achieve modern connectivity in Scotland.”

On income tax, Andy said: “In these uncertain times, it makes sense for Scotland to try to maintain the same rates as the rest of the UK. We acknowledge and welcome that ministers have moderated their proposals on tax thresholds, but, on balance, this is not the time for greater income tax divergence north and south of the border.”

On other business rates announcements: “Tweaking the large business supplement to exclude more medium sized firms is the right thing to do. While we understand the argument not to introduce a transitional relief scheme, Ministers will need to explain this decision to firms whose bills will go up dramatically at next year’s revaluation.”

On the skills announcements: “We called for a new flexible fund to help firms develop their skills – especially the ones they need to tap the power of the digital economy. So what was announced today, while we need to see the details, sounds like it fits the bill perfectly.”

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