Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce today welcomed finance secretary, Derek Mackay to meet with members of the Chamber and Leaders of both Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City Councils. The roundtable discussion focussed on the continued impact of the 2017 business rates revaluation on North-east businesses.
Despite the recent decision of the Land Valuation Appeal Court that there had not been a Material Change in Circumstances in the North-east, businesses in the region continue to feel the impact of the downturn in activity due to the global price of oil.
Liam Smyth, deputy chief executive at Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “The increased costs of Business Rates continues to be a significant issue for our members across many industry sectors and we were able to demonstrate the challenges they are facing as a result.”
“We asked Mr. Mackay to press ahead with the legislation required to implement the recommendation of the Barclay Review for a 3-year valuation cycle. We are pressing for this to be implemented a year earlier than currently planned. Prioritising this in the parliamentary timetable and delivering it at pace will protect jobs and bring relief to many businesses.”
The Scottish Government has already committed to a second year of transitional relief for some of the businesses hardest hit, and those attending the meeting asked that Mr Mackay consider a continuation of this into 2019/20.
Liam Smyth said: “Businesses are continuing to feel the pain of the revaluation in 2017, and our High Streets and industrial estates provide the evidence that increased costs have resulted in business closures and job losses. We have asked the Finance Secretary to think again about what can be done quickly to help secure a brighter future for our local traders.”
Attending the meeting Brian Rogan, Chair of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Business Rates Advisory Group and Head of Rating in Scotland at CBRE said:
“The Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) Network recognise that this is a National issue, so we welcome the Scottish Government commitment to 3 yearly Revaluations going forward. As a network, SCC want the Scottish Government to go further and have today asked that they consider bringing the first 3-yearly Scottish Revaluation date forward to 2021, just as the UK Government have done in response to business concerns that 2022 is too long to wait for a revaluation of rating assessments.
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