Rates review is required

BUSINESS groups have called on the Scottish Government to review its business rates structure following George Osborne’s Autumn Statement.
The chancellor announced that a review of rates in England and Wales will be conducted in time for the 2016 Budget as well as extending the doubling of Small Business Rate Relief to April 2016, extending the 2% cap on the business rate multiplier for the same period and increasing the business rate discounts for small businesses including pubs, restaurants, shops and cafes with a rateable value of £50,000 or below from £1000 to £1500.
Andy Willox, Scottish policy convenor of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said the business rates system north of the border “is as archaic as it is elsewhere in the UK”.
“The Scottish Government should commit to a parallel review, with nothing ruled out of bounds,” said Willox.
There was no change to alcohol duty in the chancellor’s statement.