In an announcement by Finance Secretary Derek Mackay, yesterday (21st February 2017), business rates reprieves for around 100 000 small businesses will see ‘seven out of ten premises better or no worse off – and in most cases, paying nothing at all.’
This is the result of the Small Businesses Bonus, first introduced in 2008, being extended to 100 000 businesses. Those valued at up to £15 000 will pay nothing at all. So far the scheme has saved small businesses £1.2 billion. This is now clearly the best business package available anywhere in the UK. Only the very largest businesses will pay more. For 8 500 hotels pubs, cafes and restaurants, rate increases will be capped at 12.5%.The same cap will be applied to office space in Aberdeen to further assist the oil industry.
District heating schemes such as the Broomhill and Maryhill schemes will get a 50% rates reprieve. This is on top of the £10.6 million already invested by the Scottish Government in schemes, in Glasgow, involving 700 homes.
Across the renewables sector a package of support will be available to compensate for UK (Conservative) government cuts to subsidies which have put the development of renewable schemes in Scotland at risk. These include:
‘Rates relief up to 100 per cent for qualifying community renewable and new build schemes, and a lower payment threshold for community schemes from 1 megawatt to 0.5 megawatt.
Bills capped at 12.5 per cent for small-scale hydro schemes producing up to 1 megawatt.
A new 50 per cent relief for stand-alone district heating schemes.’
Finally extra funding will be provided to local authorities to ‘address individual or highly localised impacts of the revaluation process.’
I’ve taken these facts from the SNP site:
How it is reported there contrasts somewhat markedly with that elsewhere in the media. You might ‘like’ to read the Tory comment-saturated version of this news at for an object lesson in how to write propaganda:
See the ‘bowed to pressure’ phrase? In how many ways could that have been worded to reflect the fact that governments should listen to criticism, reflect and act where they can? Does Tory MSP Murdo Fraser imagine Theresa May listening to criticism and acting on it? As for ‘bowing to pressure’, wouldn’t his leader be more likely to blame someone else as she tried to blame patients for overcrowding A&E wards? There’s one puzzling difference. – is it just 10 000 small businesses, as iNEWS claims, or 100 000, as the SNP announced? Most galling though is the staggering hypocrisy of Murdo Fraser in accusing the SNP of being too slow to react to his own party’s economic crimes.
Right at the end, iNEWS does allow the minister to get his oar in:
‘With the further measures we are now taking, combined with the powers and investment we have provided to local councils, that is a good deal for businesses, a good deal for public services, and a good deal for the Scottish economy.’