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.”

 

Get involved

More like this

SNP block Wightman's bid to give communities same right as developers to appeal planning decisions

Wed 7 Nov, 2018

The Scottish Greens today (7 Nov) hit out at the SNP for blocking a bid to give communities the same right as developers to appeal planning decisions.

The campaign for equal right of appeal has the backing of dozens of community and environmental groups such as community councils, the RSPB and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

At today's meeting of Holyrood's Local Government and Communities Committee, SNP MSPs voted against amendments to the Planning Bill from Scottish Greens housing spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP. 

If we want to maintain Scotland’s reputation as a welcoming nation, we can’t just shake our fists at anti-immigrant Tories

Kim Long Fri 2 Nov, 2018

I had an unexpected Guiser this week - my wee neighbour, a bundle of giggles dressed as a Disney villain. She’d had a great time at her school Halloween party, and rattled off the copious amounts of sugar they had inhaled. Interspersed with this sweetie monologue, however, was her dad’s quiet news that they’d received a Home Office letter - their claim for asylum has been refused.

Changes to Planning Bill will make land for house-building more affordable and tackle short-term lets

Wed 24 Oct, 2018

Changes agreed today (24 Oct) to the Scottish Government’s Planning Bill will help tackle Scotland’s housing crisis by making land for house-building more affordable and by better regulating short-term lets, according to Scottish Greens housing spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP.