Finance Secretary to make business rates announcement
Derek Mackay will outline additional help for businesses in key regions and sectors of the Scottish economy
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Scotland’s Finance Secretary is set to announce new measures designed to provide support for businesses affected by changes to their rates bills.
In a statement to MSPs, Derek Mackay is expected to outline additional help for businesses in key regions and sectors of the Scottish economy to help them deal with the impact of the forthcoming revaluation of business rates.
An assessment of how much each Scottish firm will pay in non-domestic rates is under way, to take effect from April.
The announcement comes as MSPs prepare to vote on Scotland's income tax package for the year ahead.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Mackay said: "I have set out a competitive package of measures to give small and medium enterprises the security and confidence to grow in these tough economic times.
"Under the Small Business Bonus Scheme 100,000 properties will pay no rates at all next year and a further 3,500 properties will benefit from 25 per cent relief. This package means around 9,000 properties will be up to £7,000 a year better off than their equivalents in England.
"Additionally we are cutting the tax rate that applies to a property's rateable value by 3.7 per cent to 46.6p in the pound so even some properties with values going up will see their bills go down.
"And to help larger firms we have increased the threshold for the large business supplement, meaning that 8,000 fewer premises will pay it."
Scottish Conservative finance secretary Murdo Fraser said businesses across Scotland want to hear what the Scottish Government is going to do about this.
He added: “Firms that face going to the wall and people whose jobs are in jeopardy will be extremely interested in the answer. This is fast-becoming a crisis, affecting organisations large and small, and in all areas of the country. The SNP needs to take urgent action.”
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