1. Over the period from July 2016 to August 2017, Ken Barclay led a review into the business rates system in Scotland under the following remit

    “To make recommendations that seek to enhance and reform the non-domestic rates system in Scotland to better support business growth and long-term investment and reflect changing marketplaces, whilst still retaining the same level of income to deliver local services upon which businesses rely.”
  2. The Barclay review published its final report on 22 August 2017 and made 30 recommendations to The Scottish Government. The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution responded to 25 of the recommendations, noting that five required further engagement and consideration.
  3. To inform delivery of their Barclay response, Scottish Government convened an Implementation Advisory Group to advise on the details of a number of Barclay recommendations. The group has met several times so far and we understand their views have informed this consultation.
  4. Several Barclay recommendations can be implemented administratively but others require the Government to bring forward legislation. This consultation only addresses those issues which require legislation.  
  5. There are two recommendations that may be of particular interest to members:

    Recommendation 1: Business growth accelerator - A Business Growth Accelerator – to boost business growth, a 12-month delay should be introduced before rates are increased when an existing property is expanded or improved and also before rates apply to a new build property.

    Recommendation 5b: A pilot scheme to increase rates out of town - A new power to enable councils to impose an additional levy on rates in certain circumstances.

Response complete

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