NDR Bill

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South Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has challenged local Tory politiciansto oppose proposals that introduce risks and uncertainties for businesses – after 27 business organisations signed a letter raising concerns over an opposition amendment to the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill.
The SNP was the only party which opposed the amendment to the Bill – which would mean that rates would no longer be set nationally and business rates reliefs, including the Small Business Bonus and rates relief for nurseries – would automatically end.
If the Small Business Bonus scheme was abolished, some smaller businesses in Dumfries and Galloway could face a business rate hike of more than £7000.
SNP MSP Joan McAlpine is now calling on opposition politicians to reverse amendment 9 to the Bill that seeks to end nationwide-rates reliefs and introduce local rates multipliers.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
I have written to Conservative MSPs, Oliver Mundell, Finlay Carson and Rachel Hamilton to let them know that the move to scrap over £308 million of relief – which is strongly opposed by the SNP – could impact more than 100,000 businesses across Scotland, and cost smaller businesses £7,000. 
“Abolishing the Universal Business Rate is bad for all businesses. These plans would deliver a blow to businesses in Dumfries and Galloway and could risk the delivery of vital local services, the work of charities and third-sector organisations.
“Experts and business organisations have now raised concerns over the impact of the proposed changes, warning it could create added costs and deter investment in Dumfries and Galloway and across Scotland.
“Opposition parties must heed those warnings, and backtrack on this disastrous move at the final stage of the Bill – in order to support our economy and make Dumfries and Galloway the best place for business to invest.”
‘Dear MSP 
Local businesses in Dumfries and Galloway expect certainty, and according to a new survey from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), three quarters of Scottish firms believe that changes made to the Non-Domestic Rates Bill by Conservatives, Labour and Greens at Stage 2 would be bad for business. 
At present, the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill as amended would see the Small Business Bonus scheme abolished and powers over the business rate poundage handed to councils. 
If the Small Business Bonus scheme was abolished, some smaller businesses inDumfries and Galloway could face a business rate hike of more than £7000.
Given that 27 business organisations have indicated their concerns over this, will you support them and vote to remove these damaging amendments to the Non-Domestic Rates Bill at Stage 3? This is the last chance to do so.
Joan McAlpine MSP
South Scotland