Another plea for the Scottish Government to match England's 75% business rates relief has been turned down by SNP economy chief Neil Gray.

North-east MSP Liam Kerr raised the issue in parliament on Thursday.

He told Mr Gray: "The current system imposed in Scotland is destroying Union Street yet SNP ministers are all too happy to brush the issue under the carpet to the detriment of our city centre.

Mr Gray responded: "Marks and Spencer’s decision to close its Union Street store but invest £15 million in doubling its space at Union Square is a signal of intent and of confidence in the market in Aberdeen."

"My understanding is that the decision will have no bearing on redundancies.

"I do not believe that the issue of non-domestic rates had any impact on M&S’s decision to provide substantial investment."

M&S announced their planned departure from the Granite Mile last week, while other city centre businesses such as Haig's and Olive Alexanders have closed this year.

Read more in today's P&J.

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