Scottish Executive – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:30 pm on 24th June 1999.
To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to introduce measures to assist smaller business premises in relation to the impact of the non-domestic rates revaluation to take effect from 1 April 2000. (S1O-75)
The outcome of the revaluation, which should be fiscally neutral, will not be known for many months. Decisions on any form of special assistance will be made at that stage.
What kind of logic dictates that small businesses-the engine of growth in the Scottish economy-must pay 50 per cent of the full rates bill for any small shop or office that is empty, while empty industrial premises, such as the premises in Dunfermline that are not occupied by Hyundai, receive 100 per cent remission?
We can discuss such matters when the review that is anticipated to result from the McIntosh report goes before this Parliament's Local Government Committee.
I welcome Mr Ewing's point and look forward to debating such points in the months ahead.