Business rates actions shows need for scrutiny, says Wightman

Andy Wightman MSP, Local Government spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said today’s package of measures from the Scottish Government to address concerns about business rates shows the need for proper scrutiny of Holyrood’s second-biggest source of income.  

Amid concerns that revaluation will mean larger bills for some businesses, the Finance Secretary has announced that increases will be capped for hotels, pubs and cafes, as well as offices in Aberdeen City and Shire, and for small-scale hydro schemes. Reliefs will also be available for community renewables and district heating schemes.

Tomorrow (Wed), Andy Wightman will prompt a debate at Holyrood’s Local Government Committee about the lack of scrutiny of business rates by attempting to annul the Non-Domestic Rate (Scotland) Order 2017.

Andy Wightman, Local Government spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:

“This last-minute package of measures from Scottish Ministers underlines the need for proper scrutiny of non-domestic rates, which generate almost £3billion a year for council services. If local councils had more control over this vital economic tool they would be better able to respond to local needs, avoiding the kind of uncertainty many small businesses have faced in recent months.

“The need to open up discussion of this issue is clear, and I look forward to ministers’ response to my bid in committee to annul their Non-Domestic Rates Order.”