East Kilbride MSP Linda Fabiani has welcomed the announcement from Deputy First Minister John Swinney that local authorities will be given the powers set their own business rates in under two weeks’ time.
The powers come as part of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill, where local authorities will be able to reduce non-domestic rates from October 31st. The powers will also give councils the ability to tailor any rates cut to different areas or by types of business.
Commenting, Linda said:
“The SNP were the first to bring in the small business bonus, making Scotland the most competitive place in the UK to do business. In 2011, the SNP Government also gave councils the power to keep money they raised from their business rates. Last Friday’s announcement by John Swinney goes a step further, giving councils the flexibility to adapt their rates and promote business growth.
“The SNP have long believed communities should have a greater local control of key policies, which is why £2 billion of ring-fencing was removed around council funds, and why the Community Empowerment Act was passed earlier this year.
“It is my hope that South Lanarkshire Council will welcome this as a golden opportunity to bring in new businesses and help attract investment. This could be a bonus for the work of the East Kilbride Task Force.”