Coronavirus: Hyslop pledges business support

SCOTLAND’S economic minister, Fiona Hyslop, has promised a number of steps to support businesses in Scotland, including extending the UK’s business rates ‘holiday’ to companies north of the border and relaxing regulations to allow pubs to operate as takeaways.

Addressing the Scottish Parliament today (March 18), Hyslop described the coronavirus pandemic as an “economic emergency” and committed the Scottish Government to “substantial grant support and tax breaks to keep companies in business”.

Local authorities will be instructed to suspend non-domestic rates and not to enforce planning regulations so that hospitality businesses can operate as takeaways during the crisis.

The Scottish Government is also requesting that the UK government suspends PAYE employer payments and cuts the VAT rate. Ministers will also hold discussions with banks and the insurance industry to see how those industries can support business.

More to follow.