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FSB says Barclay review proposes sensible recommendations

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcome the report from the Barclay review of business rates, published today, arguing that it outlines practical recommendations to fix an outdated tax system. 

Andy Willox, FSB’s Scottish policy convenor, said: “A year and a half ago, the First Minister announced a long overdue review into business rates at FSB’s conference in Glasgow.

"This year’s revaluation further underlined the importance of addressing flaws in the system. We are very pleased that the Barclay review group have accepted a number of FSB’s recommendations to make the system more user-friendly for small businesses.” 

The 130+ page review proposes 30 recommendations for the Scottish Government to consider including: measures to support economic growth; modernise the rates system; and increase fairness. 

On the business growth accelerator Andy Willox said: “The proposals to introduce an investment relief will prevent firms from being penalised for investing in their premises. This will allow firms to see a return from their investment before being hit by a larger bill. 

On the introduction of more frequent revaluations, Andy said: “The current revaluation period has highlighted how valuations have often become out-of-sync with the economic climate and we have long called for more frequent valuation as a solution. 

On moves to improve the administration of the rates system, Andy said: “For too long, small businesses have been faced with a bureaucratic, confusing and clumsy rates system.

"FSB has repeatedly argued for a modern and progressive system and we are delighted to see our proposals on improving consultation and communication with ratepayers, modernising processes and the wider role of the assessors as key parts of the Barclay review.”