Economy

Bira welcomes temporary abolition of business rates in Scotland

The Scottish Government’s move to temporarily abolish business rates in a bid to minimise the impact of coronavirus has been welcomed by the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira).

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP has unveiled a new economic package to the Holyrood Parliament in response to coronavirus, including 12 months of full relief from business rates for retailers and hospitality.

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The move follows Bira’s direct plea to Scottish Ministers to follow the measures outlined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.

Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “We are pleased Scotland has decided to follow the English Government’s lead in scrapping business rates for all retail businesses for a year. It is something we have been asking for and this shows they were listening.”

Echoing the plea he made to the English Government, Goodacre said the funds must be made available immediately to stop the collapse of many small independent retailers already seeing reduced trade.

Bira is also calling for the latest rates relief measures to be extended to Wales and Northern Ireland, where the decision to do so is devolved.

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