Scottish Chambers of Commerce reacts to mixed results of Holyrood rates vote
Whilst welcoming the Scottish Parliament’s decision to retain the Uniform Business Rate, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) has urged the Scottish Parliament to reconsider what it believes is a major barrier to a more flexible, responsive rates system outside of the revaluation cycle following voting on the Non Domestic Rates Bill (Scotland).
Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
“The Scottish Chambers of Commerce is deeply concerned about the impact of Section 8B of the Bill which has the effect of completely removing Scottish ratepayers’ appeal rights when there is a change in economic circumstances.
“SCC made clear our views that this Section came forward at Stage 2 without proper consultation or consideration of the ratepayers that it would affect, and now guarantees a more inflexible system to market changes and undermines the move to three yearly revaluations.
“The Conservative party tabled a Stage 3 amendment to seek such a consultation but all other parties voted against this sensible amendment to what we believe is a part of the Bill that will be damaging to all ratepayers in Scotland and will prove to be a major barrier to a more flexible, responsive rates system outside of the revaluation cycle, which is what the Bill’s purpose was.”
On the MSPs’ rejection of amendments calling for changes to the Uniform Business rate, Dr Cameron said:
“SCC welcomes the rejection of an amendment to the Non-Domestic rates bill which would have seen powers over business rates devolved to local authorities. What is clear is that transformative changes such as this should be subject to significant scrutiny, taking into consideration the significant changes this could bring to the business environment.
“As a network, SCC is mindful of calls for greater regional powers which continue to be a feature of discussions with our members. The Bill has however, devolved powers on setting of empty property relief to local authorities which will create differences in treatment of empty properties in different local authority areas.”
On new powers for Scottish Assessors, Dr Cameron continued:
“SCC is concerned that calls for softening the imposition of onerous penalties and compliance deadlines have been rejected. This aspect of the bill will be particularly challenging for SMEs who often do not always have the resources to manage what information is being requested and for what purpose. The Chamber Network believes the penalty system in England appears more reasonable and proportionate and we urge Scottish Government to rethink and bring penalties more in line so companies in Scotland are not disadvantaged.”
Perthshire Chamber continues to work with all parties and local businesses to represent concerns and lobby for improved conditions. If you would like to discuss this, please contact us on 01738 448325 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Circular Tayside Workshop: Circular by Design - How to make your business more resource efficient
- Sustainable Innovation Fund Round 2 is now open!
- Balhousie Care Group begins phased re-opening of homes to garden visits for loved ones
- Stagecoach East Scotland Shortlisted for Top Industry Awards
- Gleneagles to Welcome Guests from 15 July, 2020
- Zero Waste Scotland launches food redistribution matchmaking service
- Meet George, 98 Years Young and Still Learning
- Balhousie Care Group is #GladtoCare as national awareness week “shines a light on the care industry’s incredible work”
- Covid-19 Business Recovery: "Green Investment is the way to go" wrap-up
- Circular Tayside: Chat with Kevin Frediani, Dundee University Botanic Garden
- REMAKE in Crieff gets £57k funding to support local community
- Circular Tayside - Second Ambassador Meeting
- A new chapter for Balhousie North Inch Grove as it introduces two new managers
- Zero Waste Scotland Event - Sustainable Renovation in Practice - 22 July 2020
- Thorntons Estate Agency gears up for viewings as waiting list grows
- D C Thomson Media launches Back to Business
- Covid-19 business recovery: Green investment is the way to go by Circular Tayside
- 'Artist-in-Resident' Gordon brings his creativity to Perthshire Care Home
- Balhousie Care Group Buries Time Capsule for Future Generations to Learn About People's Experiences During Coronavirus Crisis
- Upskill with short, no cost course on Digital Marketing
- “Chat with Circular Tayside” with John Ross, Kinross Wooden Products
- Scottish Government: £20k-£80k "Designing Sustainable Plastic Solutions" Funding Competition
- Balhousie Care Group Introduce Thermal Imaging Cameras to Reduce Spread of COVID-19
- New "Chat with Circular Tayside" Series