Responding to the publication of the Barclay review into business rates, Scottish Liberal Democrat economy spokesperson Councillor Carolyn Caddick said:
“The review misses the opportunity for radical changes that would benefit Scottish business. We could have moved to a system of land value taxation which would have avoided the big rate increases that Scottish businesses face when they improve their property with renewable energy or sprinkler systems. All Barclay does is ask for a further review. Land value tax would also provide an automatic incentive to redevelop brown-field sites.
“It is a good idea to exempt new buildings from rates for a year to give a new business the chance to get established. This will encourage enterprise and innovation.
“However, it is disappointing that the Barclay Review does not recommend giving businesses protection from the gigantic rate increases that some of them have faced this year. Hotels and pubs have been hammered by the last two reviews.
“Ministers will have to explain clearly if they are going to adopt the recommendation to transfer money away from local authority sports’ bodies and towards big business. These are the big headline cash transfers in the report and will concern people worried about local council services.”