Scottish government urged to support business

The Scottish government should do more to keep the cost of doing business down, the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) has said.

In a report, ‘Scottish Retail: Creating Jobs, Investing in Communities, Boosting Growth', the SRC calls for 24 policy changes across 5 key areas:

  • business rates
  • taxes
  • charges and levies
  • regulation
  • infrastructure and skills.

The report comes ahead of the Scottish government's autumn announcement of its 2015/16 spending and taxation plans. Recommendations include:

  • not renewing the £95 million rates levy on large retailers
  • ensuring currency taxes rise in line with the rest of the UK
  • maintaining the council tax freeze
  • competitive rates of newly devolved taxes
  • a building standards system to support retail investment
  • increased investment in town centres and infrastructure.

David Lonsdale, director of the SRC, said:

"The retail industry has a great story to tell in terms of creating jobs and investing in our communities, and the Scottish government's next Budget provides a fantastic opportunity to assist the sector to further build on its strong record.

"That is why our members believe that at the heart of the Scottish government's next tax and spending plans should be measures which help keep down the cost of doing business and cost of living, provide for a smarter regulatory environment, and give retailers the tools to grow."