From Insider today:
We welcome the fact that the Finance Secretary has listened to CBI Scotland and other stakeholders on business rates, scrapping the unhelpful out-of-town levy, capping the poundage rate and confirming the switch from RPI to CPI for the duration of this parliament.
This is a mostly savvy budget proposal that should give smaller firms some much needed stability.
Positively, Mr Mackay capped the increase in business rates at 2.1%. This is a welcome change, not least for small and medium sized businesses and the struggling Scottish high street.
As such the Scottish Finance Secretary’s plans to support; parents on lower incomes remain in work, 2,000 women return to work after a career break, continued investment in apprentices and people on lower wages upskill through the Digital Start Fund all represent a positive direction of travel to boost Scotland’s labour market and productivity.
Scottish Council for Development and Industry
SCDI’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs Matt Lancashire said: “We welcome announcement of £130 million to support the creation of the Scottish National Investment Bank, which will deploy patient capital to back long-term investment in business scale-up and innovation and could have a positive impact.
Federation of Master Builders
FMB Scotland said Derek Mackay’s statement provided positive measures that would help Scottish builders “deliver the homes we need. The Government should therefore be commended for its ambition to safeguard the vitality of our high streets. All in all, this was a good budget for Scottish builders.
Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
Providing a more favourable tax regime for Scotland’s commercial properties, and significant commitments to capital investment in infrastructure, are welcome steps to boost Scotland’s economy. Introducing a reduction in non-residential LBTT for two-thirds of Scotland’s commercial properties, and reducing business rate increases, will be welcome news for those operating in Scotland’s commercial sector.
The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
The Scottish Government’s commitment to 50,000 affordable homes over the course of the current parliament is impressive. Housing associations, as the main providers of new build affordable housing, have stepped up and are delivering high quality affordable homes.
And how is BBC Scotland presenting it? Higher rate taxpayers in Scotland are now paying EVEN MORE than higher rate taxpayers in the rest of the UK. This was the subject of the phone in this morning. It is the Tory line.
Several callers challenged this line with several pointing out other social benefits – e.g. no higher education tuition fees – in Scotland, which really have to be taken into account when we are looking at household budgets.
As a higher rate taxpayer, I am happy to pay extra income tax. 99% of the population will pay no more tax this year compared to last. Uber-unionist, Hayley Miller sneeringly said, ‘For some this gain is only £20’.
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Maybe a bit late to add this but just spotted an article in Al Jazeera about the UK and India – maybe a similar trick being played now on Scotland?