Thursday, October 28, 2010

Scottish Liberal Democrats want rates relief for businesses

Scottish businesses have taken a hammering over the last couple of years. Not only from the recession, which hit Scotland harder than the rest of the UK, but from the failure of the banks to see sense and lend to sustainable business.

Then we see the SNP Government at Holyrood kick Scottish business when it's down by refusing to introduce a transitional relief scheme after a rates revaluation. Some businesses have seen their rates double.

In England there is such a scheme which helps business to ease into the new rates. In Scotland, given that we have higher unemployment, which is continuing to rise, should we not be doing something to make sure that businesses are helped to create jobs?

Well, the Scottish Liberal Democrats certainly think so and have been consistently calling for help for business for the past 6 months. I wrote in April about the Conservatives' hypocrisy in voting down a Liberal Democrat motion in the Scottish Parliament.

Today they have a chance to redeem themselves by backing the Liberal Democrat motion for help for Scottish business. Will they take it? And what excuses will the SNP have to offer for their failure to help companies cope with this huge rise in rates? Saying that 60% of businesses are better off means nothing if you turn your backs on the third that have been adversely affected.

I won't be holding my breath on either count.

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