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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5O-01946: Bill Bowman (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 21 March 2018

To ask the Scottish Government how it can use the tax system to more effectively encourage local authorities to attract economic investment and grow their tax bases.

Answered by: Derek Mackay 28 March 2018

Given the direct link between economic performance and the funding available for public services, all parts of the public sector must use all the powers available to them, not simply the tax system, to promote inclusive economic growth.

We have used the tax powers available to us fairly and prudently to allow us provide real terms protection for local authority budgets and double the funding allocated to City Region Deals. The regional economic partnerships that we can see growing from city region deal governance are expected to be a key part of securing inclusive regional economic growth.

To date, £50 million of public sector investment through the Tax Incremental Financing and Growth Accelerator Schemes has secured a further £1 billion of private sector investment.

The most attractive non-domestic rates relief package in the UK supports a range of national and local priorities, the Business Rates Incentivisation Scheme encourages councils to attract new economic growth and Local Authorities have wide ranging powers to reduce the rates paid by any ratepayer in their area, following the Community Empowerment Act.