Small business bonus scheme maintenance announced


Donald Trump appeared at the Scottish Parliament's green energy targets inquiry


Deputy First Minister John Sweeney delivered a parliamentary statement on local government finance and made a range of announcements about business rates in Scotland.


The local government finance announcements mean Scottish local authorities will receive around £10.85bn next year to run vital services.


They will have to freeze council tax for the eighth year in a row and provide places for all probationer teachers.


The Cabinet Secretary for Finance also announced the maintenance of the small business bonus scheme, that the Scottish Government would continue to match the English multiplier (or poundage rate) and launched a consultation looking at the business rates appeal system.


A full review of the non-domestic rates system in England was announced during last week’s Autumn Statement.


Andy Willox, the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Scottish policy convenor, said:


“The small business bonus scheme continues to give Scottish firms a real advantage over counterparts elsewhere in the UK. However, the FSB is disappointed that a root-and-branch review of the non-domestic rates system hasn’t yet been slated by the Scottish Government.


“Moves to tweak the appeals system and to match the English poundage have to be warmly welcomed, but we’d urge the Scottish Government to recognise that there’s an urgent need to plan for a more radical modernisation programme.”