Retail Strategy — [Sir David Crausby in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:31 pm on 10th July 2019.

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Photo of Drew Hendry Drew Hendry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 3:31 pm, 10th July 2019

Unfortunately, the hon. Gentleman is trying to punt a line that is not the fact. Through the small business bonus, 100,000 businesses in Scotland pay no rates at all, and those are mainly businesses in rural areas that do not come up to the level for being taxed.

Tracy Brabin correctly talked about public transport and its impact on retail. She gave the example of the fall in revenue for one of her constituents due to a change in bus routes. That brings us back to town planning. People must plan for the unintended outcomes as well as those they want in the future. She also mentioned banks and building societies, the importance of business rates and the need to tax big online retailers.

Jim Shannon, as ever, did a great job of promoting his own constituency. He talked about the chamber of trade and, importantly, the need for a shopping experience. Green areas, coffee culture and all those things need to be thought out in planning for the future. He talked about the mix of online and physical, which is what we used to call—