Business rates relief welcomed

South Ayrshire’s MP and MSP have welcomed the Scottish Government’s recent announcement on business rates relief.

Corri Wilson MP and Jeane Freeman MSP have backed the Scottish Government’s proposals on business rates, after Finance Secretary Derek Mackay announced a wide-ranging relief scheme that will offer strong support to businesses across Ayrshire.

Overall, the complete package of Scottish Government relief will ensure that around 70% of businesses across the region will see either no change or a decrease in their business rates bill – with more businesses being entitled to support through the small business bonus scheme. The Scottish Government had already taken action to reduce the rates poundage to help businesses who have seen a revaluation.

The relief proposals will provide support for hotels, restaurants, pubs and cafes, which had seen their rates rise the steepest following the 2015 revaluation. Any rises in this sector will be capped at 12.5% - providing substantial support to the hospitality industries in Ayrshire.

Corri Wilson, MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, said: “This is a very substantial package of support, which will mean that the vast majority of businesses will not see any rise whatsoever in the rates that they pay. The support being provided to the hospitality sector is very welcome. This industry was facing a substantial hike in rates bills, however the cap of a 12.5% increase provides excellent support to pubs, restaurants and cafes throughout the area.

“In total, almost three quarters of businesses in Ayrshire will see either a decrease or no change in the bills that they pay – which will protect jobs and support businesses right across Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock. The extension to the small business bonus will see over 100,000 firms across Scotland pay no rates whatsoever, which is a strong package of support for local businesses, and comes in addition to other funding offered in the Scottish Government’s budget, including the £500m Scottish Growth Scheme.”

Jeane Freeman, MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, added: “Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley needs thriving businesses, providing jobs for the people who live here.

“I’m delighted that, in addition to the many small business that the Scottish Government ensures pay no rate, there is also now the support for more local business from this relief scheme, helping to ensure businesses in this important part of our country can thrive.”