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Non-domestic rates scrapped until 21/22

Funding for business, retail and hospitality was handed a vital boost from the Scottish Government this week as it confirmed they will extend business rates relief to the end of 2021/2022. In a series of measures proposed by the Finance Secretary Kate Forbes following consequential funding allocations, retail, tourism, hospitality and aviation businesses will pay no rates until next year, building on the three month rates relief announced earlier in the Scottish Budget. In addition, local authorities will receive an extra £275 million in the current financial year to address COVID-19 pressures, while a further £40 million has been allocated to support the safe reopening of schools. Other extra spending in 2021-22 arising from the Finance Secretary’s statement:

• £120 million for mental health

• £120 million for affordable housing

• £100 million to support people on low incomes

• £60 million for schools to help pupils catch-up on missed education

• £60 million for NHS recovery

• £45 million for heat decarbonisation, energy efficiency and fuel poverty

• £21.5 million for Scottish Enterprise

The news has been welcomed by Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP Rona Mackay, calling the move a “shot in the arm” for local businesses. Commenting, the SNP MSP Rona Mackay said: “This is clear leadership from the Scottish Government and I thank the Finance Secretary for providing clarity and support for businesses in Strathkelvin and Bearsden. “The Scottish Government has been transparent that every penny of consequentials handed back to Scotland will be spent to build back stronger, fairer and greener. We guaranteed that if we could extend business rates relief, we would. I am delighted that, as agreed, the Scottish Government has stepped up for businesses in East Dunbartonshire providing a shot in the arm for firms seeking to rebuild after COVID. “It’s also encouraging that we have, again, increased funding for our local authorities with an extra £275 million being allocated to ease the COVID-19 pressures on services. I firmly hope East Dunbartonshire Council can use this funding to ensure the support the Scottish Government has already allocated for businesses in my constituency reaches those who need it most. “Whilst we still must be cautious about the risk of COVID-19 in our community, this announcement is another example of the SNP Scottish Government providing vital assistance for my constituents as we navigate out of this dreadful, global pandemic.



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