Aberdeen businesses being hit on both sides - Rumbles


North East MSP Mike Rumbles has condemned the Scottish Government for milking Aberdeen businesses for funds while starving Aberdeen City Council of investment.

The Scottish Government has increased business rates (Non-Domestic Rates) by a staggering 33% for local businesses over the past five years. Over £200m was raised through the tax last year while the city council receives the smallest block grant per head of population of all 32 Scottish local authorities. Meanwhile, the number of local businesses barely increased over the same period from 8,415 to 8,646.

 

Mr Rumbles said: “Although a whopping £200 million was collected in the last financial year from local businesses, and Aberdeen remains one of the top five councils for raising business rates, businesses in the city are seeing almost no benefit from the money they are putting in.

 

“It is entirely unacceptable that Aberdeen City Council is the most poorly funded local authority in Scotland. That means that vital investment in our city centre and essential funding for local services simply isn’t there, meanwhile businesses are being asked to pay more and more every year to subsidise local and national coffers.     

 

“The number of businesses paying rates has hardly increased over the past five years, yet rates revenues have increased by a third over the same time. For many businesses that is the difference between hiring new staff or battening down the hatches.

 

“Aberdeen is an economic powerhouse, yet it reaps little benefit from its wealth because it is cash starved by the SNP. It’s not good enough that shop fronts lay empty, well-meaning local businesses struggle to make ends meet, and still the Scottish Government continue to throttle funding from the local authority.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes for Editors

 

  • Parliamentary Questions (03/08/16):
  1. Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland) (Scottish Liberal Democrats): To ask the Scottish Government how many businesses in (a) the Aberdeen city area and (b) Aberdeen city centre pay business rates and how that compares with each of the previous five years. S5W-01469

 

 

Derek Mackay:

The following table shows all properties liable for business rates within Aberdeen City Council area for the current year and for each of the previous five years. Information is not held at a city centre level.

 

 

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Number of Properties

 

8,415

 

8,378

8,359

8,407

8,409

8,646

Source: Valuation Roll as at 1st April each year

 

 

 

 

Note: Includes zero rated properties and properties in receipt of relief

 

 

 

 

  1. Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland) (Scottish Liberal Democrats): To ask the Scottish Government how much money it raises through business rates in (a) the Aberdeen city area and (b) Aberdeen city centre and how that compares with each of the previous five years. S5W-01471

 

 

            Derek Mackay:

The following table shows how much money has been raised through business rates within the Aberdeen City Council area for each of the previous 5 years. Information is not held at a city centre level.

 

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

£m

162.7

170.6

178.3

193.2

200.3

216.5

 

Note. The figures for 2011-15 represent final audited figures; 2015-16 and 2016-17 are provisional figures.


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