Call to scrap planned Scottish business rate levy

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Twenty-one business organisations have written to finance secretary Derek Mackay calling on him to scrap a proposed new business rates levy on out of town premises.

The organisations represent a wide cross section of Scottish industry including manufacturing, retail, energy, commercial property, construction, transport, leisure and tourism.

The Scottish Retail Consortium wants the planned business rates levy on out-of-town premises to be scrapped. Picture: John Devlin

The Scottish Retail Consortium wants the planned business rates levy on out-of-town premises to be scrapped. Picture: John Devlin

The call comes ahead of the Scottish Government’s Budget on December 12.

The letter said the policy ran contrary to the goal of supporting business growth and long-term investmen and could ultimately damage Scotland’s competitiveness.

David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “This is a clear and unequivocal messagevoicing strong opposition to the proposed new tax on ratepayers located outwith town centres.

“Many firms will shudder at the prospect of forking out yet more in business rates, with little guarantee over whether this new local authority set tax will be capped or even how the tax receipts will be deployed.

“The finance secretary should ditch this proposed tax and focus instead on delivering a simpler business rates system, for which there is clear support from across the business community.”