Scottish Retail Consortium David Martin: The current system of business rates has become a tax on jobs and growth and undermines investment in property

LONDON, 2015-10-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — Following the announcement today that the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney MSP, is to provide powers for discretionary business rates relief to local authorities, as already announced and set out in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, David Martin, Head of Policy & External Affairs at the Scottish Retail Consortium said:

“The current system of business rates has become a tax on jobs and growth and undermines investment in property, especially in town centre and high streets. There is a strong and growing consensus across business and industry that the current system is out of date and no longer fit for purpose.

“The announcement today from the Deputy First Minister, whilst not new, is welcome acknowledgment of the need to keep costs down on retailers and other businesses.

“It is, however, a missed opportunity to arrest the cost pressures and structural deficiencies in the system which undermine existing businesses and holds back new investment. We need a more imaginative approach to reform in Scotland, one which leads to business rates flexing with economic conditions and a more sustainable overall reduction in the tax burden for ratepayers.”

Ends

Notes to Editors:

1. In August, the Scottish Retail Consortium launched the first in a series of papers ahead of the Holyrood 2016 Election setting out the key arguments for reform of business rates and proposed actions for each of the political parties. The publication can be accessed here

2. In February 2015, the SRC set out a comprehensive case for the fundamental reform of business rates. This can be accessed here

For further information please contact: David Martin, Head of Policy & External Affairs, david.martin@brc.org.uk

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.