HAVE YOUR SAY!
Increase the pressure on the Government to take action on business rates, by using our ‘Write to your MP’ tool – either as your own business or by sharing with your franchisees, tenants, lessees or peers.
Thirty-five leading business representative groups and industry bodies have jointly written to the Scottish Government’s Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary asking her to freeze the business rate in the coming financial year.
The 35 organisations represent a broad cross section of Scottish industry and commerce, including retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, tourism, leisure, and commercial property.
The collective call comes ahead of the unveiling of the Scottish Government’s Budget on 19 December, which is expected to set the business rate and associated reliefs and thresholds for the 2024-25 financial year.
Business rates at 24-year high
Scotland’s business rate is already at a 24-year high and a fifth higher than at the start of the previous decade. If increased in line with current CPI inflation this could see ratepayers across Scotland face an extra £205 million on their rates bills from next Spring.
This would be at odds with the Scottish Government’s recently stated aim to use business rates to “boost business”.
The joint letter from the business representative and trade bodies was submitted to Shona Robison MSP, the Scottish Government’s Finance Secretary, on 2 November.
The letter reads as follows:
Signatories of the letter are:
- Leon Thompson, Executive Director, UKHospitality Scotland
- David Lonsdale, Director, Scottish Retail Consortium
- Alan Anthony, Scottish Chair, Revo
- Fran Barnes, Chief Executive, The Horticultural Trades Association
- Miles Beale, Chief Executive, The Wine & Spirit Trade Association
- Sandy Begbie CBE FRSE, Chief Executive, Scottish Financial Enterprise
- Tracy Black, Director, CBI Scotland
- Clare Bottle, Chief Executive, UK Warehousing Association (UKWA)
- Dr Liz Cameron CBE, Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
- Dr Pete Cheema OBE, Chief Executive, Scottish Grocers’ Federation
- Phil Clapp, Chief Executive, UK Cinema Association
- Marc Crothall MBE, Chief Executive, Scottish Tourism Alliance
- Huw Edwards, Chief Executive, ukactive
- Andrew Goodacre, Chief Executive, British Independent Retailers Association
- Meryl Halls, Managing Director, Booksellers Association of the UK and Ireland
- Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive, Company Chemists’ Association
- Sarah-Jane Laing, Chief Executive, Scottish Land & Estates
- Mark Kent, Chief Executive, Scotch Whisky Association
- Hussan Lal, President, Federation of Independent Retailers Scotland
- John McLellan, Director, News Brands Scotland
- Andrew McRae, Policy Chair, FSB Scotland
- Catherine McWilliam, Nations Director – Scotland, IoD Scotland
- David Melhuish, Director, Scottish Property Federation
- Gordon Nelson, Scotland Director, Federation of Master Builders
- Garry Richmond, Director, Print Scotland
- Howard Saycell, Chief Executive, Retra
- Tavish Scott, Chief Executive, Salmon Scotland
- Paul Sheerin, Chief Executive, Scottish Engineering
- Anthony Short, Executive Director, Music Industries Association
- Marion Sinclair, Chief Executive, Publishing Scotland
- Colin Smith, Chief Executive, Scottish Wholesale Association
- David Thomson, Chief Executive, Food & Drink Federation Scotland
- Paul Togneri, Senior Advisor, Scottish Beer & Pub Association
- Colin Wilkinson, Managing Director, The Scottish Licensed Trade Association
- Jane Wood, Chief Executive, Homes for Scotland