HC Deb 27 November 1996 vol 286 cc278-9W
Mr. Stewart

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his estimate of the cost of excluding from liability for business rates(a) the first £2,500 and (b) the first £5,000 of rateable value for business premises in Scotland; and if he will make a statement. [5135]

Mr. Kynoch

The loss to the non-domestic rating pool of excluding from liability for business rates the first £2,500 and first £5,000 of rateable value of business premises is estimated at £140 million and £240 million respectively. The Government have provided support of £137 million for businesses in Scotland since 1995–96, with special protection extended to small businesses, through the transitional arrangements which phase in the effects of the 1995 revaluation. This support will continue until 1999–2000.

Additional support for small rural shops and post offices will be provided by the proposed village shops rate relief scheme proposed in the Local Government and Rating Bill, currently before the House.