SPF Reaction to the Scottish Budget 2021/22
In reaction to the Scottish Budget statement, David Melhuish, Director of the Scottish Property Federation, commented:
‘We share the Finance Secretary’s desire to see a strong, fair and green economic recovery from the pandemic and a number of measures proposed today will help the business community support this aim.
‘A key ask of the business community was to avoid a business rates cliff edge on 1 April for the hard-hit retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. We, therefore, welcome the Finance Secretary’s three-month extension to the 100% relief; however, it is vital that this is extended to the full tax year at the earliest opportunity to help protect Scotland’s post-pandemic recovery.
‘The cut in the business rate poundage is also welcome and will benefit all ratepayers. The next step must be for a full-scale revaluation of non-domestic properties to reflect the current market and economic conditions.
‘Meanwhile, the extension of the Business Growth Accelerator and Fresh Start is positive, but will do little to ease the financial distress caused by the application of empty property rates charges on premises that simply cannot be let. We should not see taxation added to these businesses and properties.
‘We regret that the residential LBTT holiday has not been extended beyond April 2021. This policy has helped to boost confidence in the housing market during the economic crisis, which has in turn helped the Scottish Government secure above average revenues in recent months.’