Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Scottish Government’s double tax raid comes at the ‘worst possible time’

Councils and firms are trying to cope with higher tax bills since April.
Councils and firms are trying to cope with higher tax bills since April.

More than £8m is being sucked out of the Tayside and Fife economy this year by a twin-pronged tax grab by the Scottish Government.

Thousands of local firms, including family-run hotels and independent shops, must cough up an extra £7.4m a year following changes to business rates.

And Dundee and Fife councils face a combined tax hike of £700,000 for 2016/17 – enough to pay for about 20 full-time teachers – through the slashing of tax relief for their empty properties.

Liam Kerr, the Scottish Conservative MSP, said the hikes come at the “worst possible time” for the local economy.

“At difficult economic times such as these, government should be working to support the local economy. Instead, the SNP introduce punitive tax rises. It is completely the wrong approach,” he said.

Nearly 3,700 commercial properties in Tayside and Fife attract the large business supplement, which was doubled from the rate English firms have to pay in April, as revealed following a question from Labour MSP Daniel Johnson.

Companies based in property with a rental value of more than £35,000 pay the surcharge. A reduction in empty property relief means councils must pay more for some of their commercial premises.

Dundee has 24 properties which will be affected at an annual cost of £309,000. Fife has the same number of premises implicated which will eat into its coffers by £383,000 this year.

NHS Tayside say they are scouring their “large property portfolio” to “establish the full financial implications” of the policy, which also came into force this year.

Alison Henderson, chief executive of the Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce, said businesses and investment in the area are being hampered by the rates system.

A Scottish Government spokesman said their hand was forced by UK Government austerity.

He said the Scottish Government had cut the rates bills for tens of thousands of small businesses in Scotland.

The spokesman said they have treated local government “very fairly” and added: “We are committed to competitive business rates, and have convened an external review to commence imminently – to engage with business and explore how rates can better reflect economic conditions and support growth.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from The Courier Scottish politics team

More from The Courier