The Forum of Private Business has expressed its concern to the Scottish Government over proposals to massively reduce non-domestic rate relief, describing the cut as ‘too sharp and too quick’.
The Forum – a not-for-profit business support organisation – wrote to the SNP’s Minister for Local Government and Planning, Derek Mackay, asking him to reconsider the proposals.
Alex Jackman, the Forum’s Senior Policy Adviser, said the move – that would see relief reduced from 50% to 10% – would be particularly harmful to small business in the current economic climate.
“The Forum has supported the need for new and existing businesses to be able to access affordable properties, and rate relief has in the past led to situations where rents are kept artificially high, excluding some of those businesses from accessing premises,” he said.
“However, we also recognise that there is a balance to be struck. There are many landlords that are actively pushing tenants to move through a variety of means, including substantial rent reductions but they are faced with a clear lack of demand.