14:06 05 December 2013
The Scottish business rates action plan has been unveiled by ministers. This will allow councils across Scotland to adjust their own business rates relief packages to reflect local needs. The government said that the new change on business rates tax system will make the it more transparent and user-friendly. The business rates relief will amount to £560m in the current financial year.
Local Government Minister Derek MacKay said: "As part of our commitment to local decision-making, we propose that Scotland's local authorities will be given the power to set local rates reliefs, allowing them to respond to the needs of their communities."
Meanwhile, Andy Willox, Scottish policy convener for the Federation of Small Businesses, has hoped for a bolder reform plan.
"We're pleased the Small Business Bonus scheme will be retained and the appeals process will be examined before the next revaluation in 2017, but we're slightly disappointed a bolder reform plan hasn't been developed."
"Councils in England have the powers to develop local reliefs but few have done so.
"It remains to be seen if Scottish councils will act differently and look to boost their local economies and high streets."
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