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Ensuring a sustainable and prosperous convenience industry in Scotland

SGF responds to 5.6% increase in business rates

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance confirmed yesterday that the 2012-13 business rates poundage will be 45p meaning a 5.6% increase next April in business rates.

Commenting on the announcement SGF Chief Executive, John Drummond, said:

“We welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s commitment to allow businesses to spread the 5.6% increase over three years but this sugar coating doesn’t disguise the fact that this is a bitter pill to swallow.

“September’s Retail Price Index was anomalously high and forecasts predict that inflation will be closer to 3% next April.

“Scottish retailers, like households, are not immune from the dual pressures of contracting incomes and rising overhead costs and the situation isn’t made any easier by a continuous raft of Government-imposed regulations which has cost the sector dear in recent years.

“This is clearly a missed opportunity for the Scottish Government which has on numerous occasions called on HM Government to give it the power to cut corporation tax, yet refuses to use an economic lever it does have to make businesses more competitive.

“The small business bonus scheme, whilst welcome, will be little succour for a great many of our members.”