Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser has reacted with disappointment to news that there will be no review of Business rates before 2017.
Scottish Government Finance Secretary John Swinney has refused to amend rates that were set before the global economic slump in 2008. Many small to medium sized enterprises in Mid-Scotland and Fife have suffered as a result of the consumer downturn and despite repeated calls to the Scottish Government for help, little aid has ensued.
In October the UK Government made the decision to postpone business rates revaluation in England until 2017, leaving the Scottish Government free to make its own decision.
In England businesses have benefitted from transitional relief against rates bills since 2010, however in Scotland no such protection exists.
Murdo Fraser MSP said:
“In troubling economic times governments must be flexible to allow prosperity to return. Out of date, expensive property taxes are crippling growth and prosperity for many smaller enterprises in Mid-Scotland and Fife.
“I urge the Scottish Government to reassess their position on property taxes, a more flexible approach could help preserve rural high streets that are already desperate for assistance.
“Within Perth and Kinross, a Conservative led initiative to create free parking in council car parks after 2pm over the Christmas period has been hailed as a forward thinking initiative that will foster growth and jobs.
“The Scottish Government has well within its powers the ability to amend the proposed rates revaluation date and I hope they do so.”