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Chamber and committees

Local Government and Communities Committee

Meeting date: Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Agenda: Decision on Taking Business in Private, Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 2, Subordinate Legislation


Subordinate Legislation

Non-Domestic Rates (Levying and Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2021 (SSI 2021/65)

The Convener

Agenda item 4 is consideration of negative instruments SSI 2021/59, SSI 2021/63, SSI 2021/64 and SSI 2021/65, as listed on the agenda. I refer members to paper 3, which contains further detail. The instruments are laid under the negative procedure, which means that the provisions will come into force unless the Parliament agrees to a motion to annul them. No motions to annul have been lodged. The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee considered the instruments at its meeting on 16 February 2021 and determined that it did not need to draw the attention of the Parliament to the instruments on any ground within its remit. Does any member have comments on the instruments? If so, they should type R in the chat box.

Sarah Boyack

I particularly welcome the fact that the Non-Domestic Rates (District Heating Relief and Renewable Energy Generation Relief) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021 are in front of us. You may remember from the discussions that we had last year on the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill that that was one of the issues that I raised, so I am very pleased to see it—especially given that we passed the Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill at stage 3 yesterday.

I want to put on record that I hope that the impact of the regulations will be reviewed by the Scottish Government, particularly given that there is a reduction in non-domestic rates from 2021 through to 2023-24. I think that that is quite a short timescale, so I hope that the Scottish Government will keep an eye on that and will potentially come back with an extension, because getting heat networks up and running is quite a challenging process and it is important that the statutory instrument delivers in practice what the Government hopes—and certainly I hope—that it will deliver.

The Convener

Thank you very much for that, Sarah. Your comments will of course be on the record.

I invite the committee to agree that it does not wish to make any recommendation in relation to the instruments. Does anyone object? No. That is agreed.

That concludes the public part of the meeting. We will resume in private on Microsoft Teams. Please accept the clerk’s meeting request for the private discussion, which will be sent shortly.

12:14 Meeting continued in private until 12:41.