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SCC INITIAL REACTION TO BARCLAY REVIEW
22nd August 2017
Scottish Chambers of Commerce welcomes the Barclay Review Recommendations as a step in the right direction to improve the operations of Business Rates in Scotland and to stimulate business growth and investment. Scottish Chambers of Commerce welcomes the following recommendations:
- More Frequent Revaluations;
- Reduction of Large Business Supplement from 2.6p to 1.3p;
- Business Growth Accelerator' to encourage Investment with a ‘one-year holiday’ on new items eg plant and machinery or business expansion.
Responding to the publication of the Barclay Review on Reforming of Scotland's Business Rates, Brian Rogan, Chair of the SCC Business Rates Advisory Group and Head of Rating in Scotland for CBRE Ltd, said:
Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network has long called for an urgent reform of the business rates system in Scotland and it is positive to see a number of our recommendations feature in this report which will encourage business investment.
Stimulating growth and boosting investment is SCC's guiding principle in reforming business rates and the 'Business Growth Accelerator' which will provide a 'one-year holiday' on investment in new machinery or business expansion, is good for Scottish business.
The remit of the Review Group included reforming the system so it could reflect changing economic and trading conditions which is what our members have been calling for. We are disappointed that there was no mention of reviewing the legislation around material change of circumstance appeal rights which are more restrictive in Scotland than south of the border.
Business wants to see the rating system changed and one that responds effectively to economic conditions but at least the move to more frequent revaluations as recommended in the Barclay Report will help somewhat to achieve this.
It's now critical for the Scottish Government to urgently consider and scrutinise these recommendations, and where implemented, they should be reviewed regularly to ensure the theory is achieved in practice.