Alasdair Allan, SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar has today welcomed statistics revealing that the Scottish Government’s rates relief scheme saved businesses in the islands a total of £25 million between 2009-10 and 2016-17.

The figures were provided by Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP in a written answer to the Scottish Parliament. The figures show that the rates relief scheme has saved small and medium sized businesses in Scotland around £4.5 billion between 2009-10 and 2015-16 by reducing their rates liability and taking many firms out of business rates altogether.

These figure does not, however, include premises that qualified for the new 100% reliefs introduced, including Day Nursery Relief and the Business Growth Accelerator.

Dr Allan said:

“These statistics very clearly illustrate that the Scottish Government is delivering for our local businesses here in the islands.

“The Scottish Government is delivering the most competitive business rates relief package in the whole of the UK, and businesses in the Western Isles have saved £25 million over the past 7 years, with 1,693 properties benefitting. Additionally, the Finance Secretary has confirmed that the Government will also spend an estimated record £720 million on rates relief across Scotland in this year alone.

“Here in the islands, our local businesses face a unique set of opportunities and challenges. Since coming to office, the SNP Scottish Government has taken strong action to support business growth and jobs in the islands, helping to keep money in our neighbourhoods, all in the backdrop of a tough economic climate as a result of the global financial crash.

“I’m delighted to see so many island firms benefitting, and with the new measures introduced in this year’s budget, the figures are only likely to grow as we look ahead to the future.”

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