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02 Feb 2021

Three-month extension of business rates holiday in Scotland 'not enough'

The business rates holiday in Scotland is to be extended by three months, it has been announced.

However,  While Bira backs the rates holiday extension, CEO Andrew Goodacre says the measures do not go far enough.

Finance Minister Kate Forbes announced the extension as part of Scotland's Budget. Retailers in England and Wales will have to wait until March 3 to find out whether Chancellor Rishi Sunak will extend the business rates holiday in his Budget.

The original business rates holiday in Scotland was due to expire on March 31, 2021.

Andrew said: "Whilst we welcome the decision to extend business rates relief by three months, we must also say that it is not enough in the current circumstances.

"We expect the current lockdown to continue until the end of March at least, meaning that 80% of retailers will have been closed for eight of the previous 12 months. These businesses are more vulnerable than they were in March 2020, and the argument for introducing rates relief for retail for the whole of 2021/22 is even stronger.

"Businesses need certainty to plan a way out of this pandemic crisis and these measure do not offer sufficient clarity or time for retailer to recover the sales lost whilst being closed."

Bira has been campaigning for the business rates holiday to be extended for at least another year. Retailers are urged to write to their MP to join the fight and state their case.

Find your template letter here

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