Date lodged: 14 March 2019
To ask the Scottish Government which local authorities (a) it expects to use and (b) are considering using their powers under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 to reduce business rates in 2019-20.
Answered by: Kate Forbes 26 March 2019
Local authorities are not required to notify the Scottish Government of any local relief schemes they intend to put in place in advance of the financial year, that is rightly a matter for each local authority to determine themselves based on their own local circumstances. We recognise that Local Authorities are independent bodies, democratically elected and accountable to their local electorate, and the administering of all reliefs under these powers is a matter for them.
In 2019-20 we will continue to encourage all local authorities to use their powers under the Community Empowerment Act 2015, which grants them wide-ranging flexibility to offer bespoke local non-domestic rates relief schemes. For our part the 2019-20 Local Government finance settlement which totals £11.2 billion will provide local authorities with a real terms increase in funding of £310 million (2.9%).