Rates system set to change

Derek Mackay

FINANCE secretary Derek Mackay has confirmed the Scottish Government plans to implement the Business Growth Accelerator policy suggested in the recent Barclay Commision review on business rates.

The accelerator would delay rate hikes for 12 months for businesses following any upgrades. This would also apply to newly-built property.

Addressing parliament, Mackay said: “Of all the recommendations, the Barclay review felt this would give Scotland the edge in attracting investment and growing the economy. I agree.

“Developing our economy, and supporting business to invest and grow is central to this Government’s activity.”

Mackay also confirmed rates revaluations will occur more frequently after the next revaluation in 2022, carrying out revaluations every three years with new values coming into effect one year later.

Under the current system, changes to business rates should take place every five years, but there was a seven-year gap following the 2010 revaluation as the Scottish Government opted to match the UK Government’s decision to delay the revaluation in England.

Mackay said: “This will help ensure that our ratings system is more flexible to the changing economic circumstances that businesses face.”