Bosses in bid to quash tax plans for empty premises

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Business leaders have made a last-ditch plea to the Scottish Government to drop plans to increase tax on empty commercial premises.

More than a dozen business leaders from across Scotland spoke out against the proposals after a meeting in the Scottish Parliament that was organised by the Scottish Conservatives.

The Tories want to amend the Local Government Finance (Unoccupied Properties etc) Bill, which will be debated in its final stages next week, to block the plan to reduce non-domestic empty properties tax relief from 50 per cent to 10 per cent.

After last week’s meeting, local government spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell said: “This meeting crystallised the adverse impact in human terms this bill, based 
on a false premise that unoccupied property is being left empty deliberately, will 
have on the Scottish economy, jobs and families.

“These plans by the SNP are damaging a vital sector at the worst possible time.

“So far the Scottish Government has ignored the business community, but it was clear given the confirmation of the disastrous effects of the bill, this position is not sustainable.”