Christina Topical Question 151116



SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie has backed the Scottish Government’s proposals on business rates. The news comes after Finance Secretary Derek Mackay announced a wide-ranging relief scheme that will offer strong support to businesses across South Lanarkshire.

Overall, the complete package of Scottish Government relief will ensure that 75% of businesses in South Lanarkshire will see either no change or a decrease in their business rates bill – with more businesses being entitled to support through the small business bonus scheme.

The Scottish Government had already taken action to reduce the rates poundage to help businesses who have seen a revaluation.

The relief proposals will provide support for hotels, restaurants, pubs and cafes, which had seen their rates rise the steepest following the 2015 revaluation. Any rises in this sector will be capped at 12.5% - providing substantial support to the tourism and hospitality industry.

Commenting, SNP MSP Christina McKelvie said:

“This announcement by the Scottish Government proves once again the SNP’s commitment to local businesses across my constituency – with the substantial package of support ensuring that many businesses will not see any rise in the rates that they pay.

“The support for the tourism and hospitality sectors is very welcome – after these industries were left facing substantial hikes in their rates bills. The cap of a 12.5% increase provides excellent support to hotels, pubs, restaurants and cafes throughout Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse.

“The extension to the small business bonus will see over 100,000 firms across Scotland pay no rates whatsoever, which is a strong package of support for local businesses, and comes in addition to other funding offered in the Scottish Government’s budget, including the £500m Scottish Growth Scheme, and action taken to reduce the rates poundage.

“Overall, 75% of businesses in South Lanarkshire will see either a decrease or no change in the bills that they pay – helping to protect jobs and support local firms.

“It is time for the opposition parties to put their political opportunism to one side and to get behind the substantial support that the Scottish Government is proposing.”