• MySTV

Retailers urge Scottish ministers to keep tax rates competitive

The Scottish Retail Consortium is calling for new landfill tax charges to be 'no higher than in the rest of the UK'.

shopping retail anonymous good quality image

Scottish ministers are being urged to keep rates competitive with the rest of the UK when using newly devolved tax powers.

Retail chiefs have called on the Holyrood administration to keep the new landfill tax charges "no higher than in the rest of the UK" when Scotland becomes responsible for them in 2015.

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) also said ministers should "caution" against any changes which would mean people in Scotland paying more in income tax than those living in the rest of the UK when limited powers over income tax are handed to Edinburgh in 2016.

The SRC issued the plea as it made a number of detailed recommendations to Finance Secretary John Swinney for his budget for 2015/16, which will be published in the autumn.

The retail industry is the largest private sector employer in Scotland, providing 255,000 jobs.

The SRC wants Mr Swinney to ensure rates set under the new Scottish Landfill Tax - one of the powers devolved in the 2012 Scotland Act - are "no higher than in the rest of the UK, with any rises remaining in line with inflation only".

It added: "The 10p Scottish Rate of Income Tax is to be applied in 2016/17, and Scottish ministers will be developing their thinking over the coming months about the rates to be applied.

"We would caution against any move which would mean people in Scotland paying more than elsewhere in the UK."

The SRC called for the council tax freeze to be maintained next year and said if a rise was to be considered for 2015/16, this should be "kept to a minimum, for example in line with inflation".

It urged reform of non-domestic rates, saying the system was "no longer fit for purpose", describing the current system as a "disincentive to invest in commercial premises" and adding that "the tax seems to only ever rise, and retailers pay disproportionally more than other sectors".


The SRC called on Mr Swinney to ensure the business poundage rate in Scotland rises no faster than elsewhere in the UK.

The industry body said if the Scottish Government was to receive any cash "windfall" as a consequence of Westminster's budget decisions, this money "should be used to invest in infrastructure projects or high streets".

SRC director David Lonsdale said: "We fully support the Scottish Government's objective of increasing sustainable economic growth.

"The retail industry has a great story to tell in terms of creating jobs and investing in our communities, and the Scottish Government's next budget provides a fantastic opportunity to assist the sector to further build on its strong record.

"That is why our members believe that at the heart of the Scottish Government's next tax and spending plans should be measures which help keep down the cost of doing business and cost of living, provide for a smarter regulatory environment, and give retailers the tools to grow."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "We recognise that times remain challenging for retailers, and the Scottish Government is committed to helping the sector.

"More than 92,000 premises benefited from our Small Business Bonus Scheme in the last year - and the scheme is now being expanded to benefit thousands more smaller firms.

"We have made clear our commitment to match the poundage with the UK, to offer the most competitive system of business rates in the UK and to maintain the council tax freeze throughout this parliament.

"In addition while a small number of very large retailers currently pay the public health supplement, we were clear since introduction in 2012 that this temporary measure will end in March 2015.

"And there is more good news for small business, with proposals in the Community Empowerment Bill to allow councils to create their own business rate relief schemes, giving them the flexibility to reduce rates for businesses in response to local circumstances.

"Our town centre action plan includes a range of measures designed to support town centre businesses and recognises the need to ensure town centres diversify their offer and respond to local demand.

"However, it is only with independence that we could create a genuinely appropriate set of complementary policies - in relation to taxation, innovation and labour market regulation - to secure stronger levels of economic growth and job creation from which everyone in Scotland would benefit."

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.


We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.


Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.


Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.



Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.