Clydesdale business leaders unhappy with new rates

Lanark High Street'5/11/13
Lanark High Street'5/11/13

CLYDESDALE business owners have hit out at an extra two per cent rise in business rates across the country.

The rise has been forecast by the Scottish Government to be worth an additional £150 million in tax revenues, bringing the total business rates tally in Scotland to £2.8 billion.

However, the Scottish Retail Consortium stated that the tax rise will hit retailers particularly hard as they contribute around one quarter of the £2.8 billion paid in business rates.

One man who is unhappy with both the tax hikes is Lanark Business Group chairman Alastair Brooks.

He said: “I completely agree with the SRC’s view as we have an outdated and unfair rates system. It seems to be that those businesses who can best afford to pay tax do their best to avoid it.

“A fairer rates system would be best based on turnover which would make it a lot more affordable for smaller businesses.

“The small business rate relief which exempts properties from paying rates does not go far enough and should be extended to help breathe life back into the high street.”

Carluke BID chairman Martin Hannah said more and more businesses were scratching their heads asking what value there was in paying non-domestic rates.

Martin said: “When a business expands its premises or fits them out to a higher standard they’re non-domestic rates bill goes up!

“How can it be logical for a system to penalise someone for making things better and to encourage a climate where customers have to frequent increasingly cramped and poor quality environments?

“It’s the equivalent of being taxed more for going to the gym and eating healthy foods.”