19 Jun 2012
The Scottish Conservatives are calling on the SNP to scrap proposals which would increase the tax owners of empty business premises have to pay.
The Scottish Government wants to reduce the rates relief discount from 50 per cent to only 10 per cent, despite almost universal opposition from the business community across the country.
The issue will be debated in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, where the Scottish Conservatives will ask the SNP to drop the plans.
Scottish Conservative Finance Spokesman Gavin Brown MSP said:
“The Scottish Government has made a complete mess of this proposal right from the start when they failed to consult.
“Everyone wants to see empty properties brought back onto the market, but almost nobody believes this is the way to make that happen.
“Most properties are empty because there is a lack of demand in the market; simply taxing them more will do nothing to help.
“It will also place a tax burden on the squeezed public sector, as they hold many empty properties.
“We are calling on the Scottish Government to scrap these plans.
“The Scottish Government keep saying they want more powers to make Scotland more competitive.
“However, they seem determined to use the powers they do have to ensure the reverse will be true.”