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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Rates relief reform rejected

This news post is over 4 years old

MSPs have overwhelmingly rejected a bid to give councils the power to set business rates

Plans to revamp the business rates system in Scotland have been blocked.

MSPs overwhelmingly rejected calls to move the responsibility for setting rates to local authorities.

Last week, the Charity Retail Association called on politicians to reject the plans as they saw the reforms as a threat to charitable relief and the economic health of the high street.

Green MSP Andy Wightman brought forward the amendment, but it was rejected by 103 to 10.

The Conservatives, who had backed the proposal to change the Non Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill at committee stage, reversed their stance, with Labour and the SNP also opposed.

David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: "Retailers, and the business community as a whole, will breathe a huge sigh of relief that MSPs have listened and voted to retain the consistency, simplicity and predictability that the uniform business rate brings, and that the reckless plan to abolish it has been defeated."