Thirty-five leading business representative groups and industry bodies have jointly written to the Scottish Government’s Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary asking her to freeze the business rate in the coming financial year.
The 35 organisations represent a broad cross section of Scottish industry and commerce, including retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, tourism, leisure, and commercial property.
The collective call comes ahead of the unveiling of the Scottish Government’s Budget on 19 December, which is expected to set the business rate and associated reliefs and thresholds for the 2024-25 financial year.
Business rates at 24-year high
Scotland’s business rate is already at a 24-year high and a fifth higher than at the start of the previous decade. If increased in line with current CPI inflation this could see ratepayers across Scotland face an extra £205 million on their rates bills from next Spring.
This would be at odds with the Scottish Government’s recently stated aim to use business rates to “boost business”.
The joint letter from the business representative and trade bodies was submitted to Shona Robison MSP, the Scottish Government’s Finance Secretary, on 2 November.