256million reasons the SNP is anti business...
That’s extra supertax bill
SCOTTISH businesses are paying £256 million more for operating north of the Border – thanks to an SNP supertax.
The crippling cost of the Scottish Government’s large business rates supplement is set out in full today.
It will have cost firms more than half a billion pounds from when it was launched in 2016-17 to the end of 2019-20. That is double the amount those companies would have paid south of the Border.
The Scottish Retail Consortium uncovered the figures and urged Ministers to ‘restore a level playing field with England’.
Next year will be the fourth since the Scottish Government doubled the large business rate supplement from 1.3p in the pound – the English level.
Despite the name, it is not always big firms that are hit. Any business in premises with a rateable value of £51,000 – based on the estimated market rental value – is affected.
In many cases this can be shops with large showrooms.
In 2016, McAree Brothers crafts shop left Stirling after 138 years in the city, citing the supplement as the reason for shutting.
And Scottish Retail Consortium director David Lonsdale said McAree Brothers is not alone in being affected by the tax. The number of shops in Scotland fell by 900 over the past four years, according to the Office for National Statistics – a faster reduction than elsewhere in the UK.
Mr Lonsdale said: ‘These are testing times for retailers, who are having to contend with profound changes in shopping habits as well as squeezed consumer spending.
‘Responding positively to this is made all the harder by having to fork out for government-imposed costs, such as the rates surcharge.’
The Scottish Government also refused to pass on a UK tax cut to Scottish workers, meaning anyone earning more than £27,000 will pay more than they do in England.
And the Scottish Fiscal Commission forecasts that the sluggish economy north of the Border will grow more slowly than the across the UK as a whole.
Murdo Fraser, Scottish Conservative finance spokesman, said: ‘The SNP has failed to revitalise the Scottish economy and failed to support Scottish businesses by increasing the tax gap with the rest of the UK.
‘The SNP must reconsider the punitive large business rate supplement and level the playing field for Scottish business.’
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Business rates need real reform, not perpetual increases.’
The Scottish Government insisted that, overall, its business rates were less punishing than those in the rest of the UK.
‘The SNP has failed to revitalise the economy’