§ Mr. Ernie Ross
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what evidence there exists, either from work carried out by the Scottish Development Department or the Scottish Economic Planning Department, which indicates that the level of rates imposed by a local authority acts as a deterrent to firms setting up in that area.
§ Mr. Alexander Fletcher
No specific studies on this question have been carried out by the Scottish Development Department or the Scottish Economic Planning 517W Department. But it is clear that high rates will tend to depress company profits: evidence from a study carried out by an independent firm of consultants suggests that rates are a particular deterrent to the establishment of new small businesses.