The Scottish Government’s thoughtless and punitive hike in business rates is damaging communities across the North East, Mike Rumbles MSP and Banchory Councillor Rosemary Bruce have said today.
Owners of the popular local tourist destination, the Feughside Inn, have been forced to close the doors to their bar and restaurant to cut costs and save their guesthouse business.
Under the new rules, announced by the Scottish Government in the budget earlier this year, thousands of medium sized businesses have seen their rates increase by as much as 50%. Some smaller businesses , however, are exempt from the hike which has encouraged many businesses to think about downsizing.
Mr Rumbles said: “This is a shocking state of affairs. The Feughside Inn is a successful local business that is popular with the community and with tourists. The closure of its bar and restaurant is the direct result of the Scottish Government’s business rates increases.
“We warned the Scottish Government that this damaging hike would harm key local businesses like hotels and restaurants. The SNP are cutting the government’s contribution to local councils, and that means punishing businesses to raise the money needed to pay for our local services.”
Cllr Bruce added: “The Feughside Inn is a great local business that has thrived over many years. It is very bad news that they have been forced to close part of the Inn to save the other half.
“Many people raised with me their concerns with the rates increases before they came into force and we reported that back to the Scottish Government but they would not listen. Now the community is starting to see the damage the SNP have caused.
“Every one of our local businesses adds to the vibrancy of the town and helps support local jobs. If we don’t help support our businesses then we could see a chain reaction right through the local economy.”