MSP hails increase in business rate scheme

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SNP MSP Adam Ingram has welcomed newly published statistics which show that more businesses than ever before in Scotland have seen their rates bills abolished or substantially reduced thanks to the SNP Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme.

Across Scotland, there were 89,087 businesses in receipt of the rate relief scheme in 2012/13, up from 85,199 in 2011/12 and an increase of 5%. Small businesses in Scotland are benefitting from £144 million of rates relief in the current financial year, up from £131 million last year. Within South Ayrshire there has been an increase from 1625 businesses in 2008 to 2063 recipients of the scheme in 2012.

Every single one of Scotland’s 32 local authorities has seen an increase in the value of Small Business Bonus rates relief provided to businesses in their area in the last year.

Commenting Mr Ingram said: “The SNP’s Small Business Bonus Scheme has been an essential lifeline to businesses both locally across South Ayrshire and nationally the length and breadth of Scotland.

“In difficult times when every penny counts almost 2100 small businesses in South Ayrshire have seen their rates bills abolished or substantially reduced thanks to this programme.

“The fact that there are now more businesses than ever before benefitting from the scheme is fantastic news and a sign of the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting Scotland’s business sector through these difficult times.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of Scotland’s economy and the support they have received demonstrates what can be done when the Scottish Government is free to set its own economic policy.

“With the powers to manage our own economy in an independent Scotland, we will be able to do even more to support businesses in Scotland and secure jobs and recovery.”