Leader comment: Rates change is a disaster

City businesses are  unhappy about the huge rise in business rates - Amanda Caygill, who owns bar restaurant Espy in Portobello, pictured here with chef Luke Hazelwood and maitre'd AJ Qureshi, is facing a bill more than five times last year's.
City businesses are unhappy about the huge rise in business rates - Amanda Caygill, who owns bar restaurant Espy in Portobello, pictured here with chef Luke Hazelwood and maitre'd AJ Qureshi, is facing a bill more than five times last year's.
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The Scottish economy is already lagging behind the UK economy, and things are just going to get worse.

The uncertainty over Brexit has already hit the pound, putting up the cost of all imported goods and materials for manufacture here, and many observers say the increased uncertainty over a potential indyef2 is causing the added difficulties facing the Scottish economy. Brexit negotiations will take at least two years, Scotland’s future is unlikely to have been confirmed before that, and leaving the EU will almost certainly, especially in the short term, leave us with more economic challenges.

So the Scottish government need to do all they cam to encourage business, because that is what is going to drive the economy. But the business rates revaluation is having precisely the opposite effect. We report today businesses who say they will have to lay off staff and face losing their businesses due to the massive hikes in rates they face.

Many businesses face putting up prices, which will deter likely customers – and add to the inflationary pressures which already having an effect. The government needs to suspend this rates change until it has properly evaluated the real cost to the country’s economy.