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OPPOSITION PARTIES MUST RULE OUT THREAT TO UNIFORM BUSINESS RATES

Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP has challenged Opposition MSPs representing Mid Scotland & Fife  to oppose proposals that introduce risks and uncertainties for businesses - after 27 business organisations signed a letter raising concerns over an opposition amendment to the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill.

The SNP was the only party which opposed the amendment to the Bill – which would mean that rates would no longer be set nationally and business rates reliefs, including the Small Business Bonus and rates relief for nurseries – would automatically end.

If the Small Business Bonus scheme were abolished, some smaller businesses in Perthshire South & Kinross-shire could face a business rate hike of more than £7000.

Calling on politicians from all parties to reverse Amendment 9 to the Bill that seeks to end nationwide-rates reliefs and introduce local rates multipliers, Ms Cunningham said:

“The move to scrap over £308 million of relief – which is strongly opposed by the SNP – could impact more than 100,000 businesses across Scotland and cost smaller businesses £7,000.

“I remember when the SNP first introduced the Small Business Bonus, it came in to force just as the first effects of the financial crash were starting to bite.  Many local businesses told me that without it, they would have gone under. 

“It was a lifeline then and remains an important support mechanism for local companies.

“Abolishing the Universal Business Rate is bad for all businesses. These plans would deliver a blow to businesses in Perthshire South & Kinross-shire and could risk the delivery of vital local services, plus the work of charities and third-sector organisations.

“Experts and business organisations have now raised concerns over the impact of the proposed changes, warning it could create added costs and deter investment in my constituency and across Scotland.

“Opposition parties must heed those warnings and backtrack on this disastrous move at the final stage of the Bill.”

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, 63 Glasgow Road, Perth PH2 0PE  •  01738 620540   •   Website designed & hosted by Craig Mackay Design