Mon 25 Jun, 2018

Given the pressures on public services, we should be looking at fairer ways to bring more revenue in to meet growing demand, and we should be giving local councils a greater say in how rates are set so they meet local needs. Andy Wightman MSP

Scottish Greens housing and local government spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP today (25 June) renewed his call for a broader review of non-domestic rates, as the Scottish Government launches a consultation on plans for legislation. 

Ministers intend to legislate early next year, implementing the vast majority of the recommendations from the Barclay review.

Andy Wightman, housing and local government spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:

“The government is consulting on a review that was flawed, as its remit was to maintain the same level of income from non-domestic rates. Given the pressures on public services, we should be looking at fairer ways to bring more revenue in to meet growing demand, and we should be giving local councils a greater say in how rates are set so they meet local needs.

“There needs to be a proper evaluation of the Small Business Bonus Scheme, for which there is scant evidence of any economic benefit, and indeed there are ludicrous examples of where it provides unnecessary tax breaks for very wealthy individuals. The proposal for holiday home owners to prove they have let a property for 70 days in a year is a small step towards tackling the avoidance of both council tax and non-domestic rates but it is unlikely to bring long-term homes back into supply.”

 

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