Question reference: S6W-00997
- Asked by: Alasdair Allan, MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scottish National Party
- Date lodged: 23 June 2021
Current status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Tom Arthur on 24 June 2021
To ask the Scottish Government what action it will take in light of the UK Government’s announcement that it would rule out COVID-19 appeals on non-domestic properties on 25 March 2021, and introduce a £1.5 billion discretionary relief scheme, in England.
On 25 March 2021 the UK Government committed to ruling out COVID-19 appeals on non-domestic properties in England. It concurrently announced a new Business Rates relief fund of £1.5 billion for businesses affected by COVID-19 outside the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors.
We anticipate that this will result in consequential funding for the Scottish Government, but at this point we are still waiting for confirmation of when this will be received. Once that confirmation is provided, we remain committed to passing on all business support consequentials through a tailored package of measures for Scottish business during the recovery period.
In the interim, we agree in principle with the UK Government that market-wide economic changes to rateable values, such as from COVID-19, should be only considered at revaluation to ensure fairness to all ratepayers; and that it is not appropriate to use the material change of circumstances provisions in the non-domestic rates legislation in relation to COVID-19, or COVID-19 restrictions.
The Scottish Government can therefore confirm its intention to also take measures to rule out COVID-19 appeals, whilst continuing to ensure that we best support the most affected businesses and sectors in the recovery period. We will set out our legislative plans after the summer.