McArthur: Business rates rises will hurt renewables

Scottish Liberal Democrat energy spokesperson, Liam McArthur MSP has today questioned the Scottish Government’s proposals to hit small scale renewables projects with huge business rates rises.  This follows publication of research from Scottish Renewables confirming that small-scale renewables projects could face rate rises of up to 650%. 

Mr McArthur said:

“With small-scale renewables projects facing hikes in business rates up of up to 650%, there is a real risk that many smaller hydro, wind and solar projects could become unviable.   

“Any loss of investment in these sorts of projects will make achieving our renewables and climate change targets all the harder.  

“The situation is not helped by the Scottish Government’s decision, as in previous years, to ignore calls for transitional rates relief, which would allow changes to be introduced more gradually.  By opting instead for a 'big bang' introduction, Ministers have ensured that many businesses face dramatic changes in their financial liabilities.  This will be hugely challenging, however profitable and well run a business might be. 

“The Finance Secretary needs to look again at the issue of transitional relief and all make sure that his approach to business rates avoids derailing efforts to combat climate change.”

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