Rates relief for 125,000 firms

Business rates across Scotland end for more than 125,000 small firms today as part of a package to help the country out of the recession.

This comes on the day the Scottish Government announces how it will spend another fund agreed in the Budget to regenerate high streets across Scotland.

Council tax has been frozen across Scotland for the second year in a row, saving the average household £70 a year and reductions in prescription charges mean those faced with long term conditions or in need of a prescription will pay reduced rates.

SNP Chief Whip Brian Adam welcomed today’s introduction of a series of SNP policies.

“People and businesses across Scotland are today feeling the benefit of our SNP Government as business rates and council tax are frozen, prescription charges fall and Scotland’s elderly receive the full free personal care they are entitled too.

“120,000 businesses will today see their business rates abolished completely – saving some businesses over £3000 a year.  This is a vital step in the middle of Labour’s recession and could be instrumental in protecting jobs and supporting Scotland’s businesses through the difficult year ahead.

“Households will pay the same council tax bills as they did two years ago – as a council tax freeze comes into effect across the country – keeping more money in people’s pockets and helping families through the recession.

“Similarly a fall in prescription charges means a reduction in the tax on ill health that effects many with long term conditions as the SNP moves toward abolishing the charges all together.

“It is unfortunate that the UK Government is determined to push ahead with today’s 2p rise in fuel duty at a time when Labour, like the SNP, should be doing all it can to help both businesses and people across Scotland through the recession.”