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United Kingdom Budget

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 4:45 pm on 25th March 2010.

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Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party 4:45 pm, 25th March 2010

My point about the freedom of information request is simple: we are following the legislative framework that exists. The freedom of information legislation indicates that if we are to publish information within a 12-week period, we are entitled to do so in an orderly fashion. That is precisely what we will do.

My second point is that of course there are rates relief schemes in place for rural petrol stations. Relief is available to the relevant businesses. Sixty per cent of businesses in Scotland will be better off as a consequence of the rates revaluation. If we had had a transitional relief scheme, those businesses would not have gained the reduction in business rates to which they were entitled. Across the piece, businesses will save £220 million as a consequence of this Government's decision to peg the business rates poundage in Scotland at the poundage rate in England. That has been of significant benefit to the businesses of Scotland.

That is in addition to the significant investment that the Scottish Government has put into the small business bonus scheme, not—as in the case of the chancellor's budget—for one year, but for a number of years.