30 May 2012
The SNP has again refused to back down from its plans to increase tax on empty commercial properties in a move that will only further damage the Scottish economy.
At today’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee, Local Government Minister Derek Mackay reaffirmed his desire to reduce the discount businesses receive for rates on empty properties from 50 per cent to only 10 per cent.
That decision has been widely criticised over many months by the Scottish Conservatives and business leaders, who believe it will have a negative impact.
Scottish Conservative Local Government Spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell said:
“This is straight out the Walter Mitty school of economic regeneration policy.
“The SNP may be listening to the arguments against this approach, but clearly they are not hearing them.
“There is only a handful of business premises that are closed wilfully, the huge majority are empty because of the economic climate.
“This measure clearly will not help that, and in fact it will have the opposite effect and could even tip some firms over the edge.”