HTA joins forces to call for Scottish rates freeze

by | Nov 6, 2023 | Associations, News | 0 comments

HTA calls for rates freeze

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), jointly with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and other leading businesses and groups, have set out a united call for a freeze in business rates in Scotland. This clear ask is directed towards the Scottish Government’s Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary ahead of the upcoming budget announcement on 19 December, which will set the business rate and associated reliefs for the 2024-25 financial year.

Scotland’s business rate is already at a 24-year high and a fifth higher than at the start of the previous decade. If increased in line with current CPI inflation, ratepayers across Scotland could face an extra £205 million on their rates bills from next Spring. This would be at odds with the Scottish Government’s recently stated aim to use business rates to “boost business”.

The joint letter from the business representative and trade bodies was submitted to Shona Robison MSP, the Scottish Government’s Finance Secretary, at the end of last week. The text of the letter can be read here.

Fran Barnes, Chief Executive of the HTA, has highlighted the importance of providing businesses with cost certainty and asks the government to acknowledge the significant role the horticultural sector plays in Scotland’s economy. In 2019, the industry contributed £2.8 billion towards GDP and supported over 64,000 jobs in Scotland.

“Our sector has faced a year of challenges and volatility around climate change, high inflation, workforce access, and regulation changes. Whilst the sector has shown resilience, it is vital that the Scottish government demonstrates an understanding of the economic and business context they are operating in. Alongside the other signatories of this letter, we are confident that freezing the business rate in the upcoming Scottish Budget would be a positive and welcome step to help ease the burden that our members have been facing for a long and difficult time and, in return, we can deliver more sustainable economic growth.

“We also need the government to recognise the value of environmental horticulture in delivering across policy areas and support our members to help them deliver on Scotland’s green ambitions and green growth as outlined in our Scottish Environmental Horticulture Growth Strategy.”

The HTA has also asked for action by the Chancellor on business rates in England. In its submission to the Chancellor of the Exchequer ahead of the 2023 Autumn Budget, the HTA has asked for the Spring cliff-edge for businesses with both rates reliefs ending and rates rising to be addressed as businesses face ongoing cost pressures.

more latest news ➡

GCA Barometer of Trade figures 'very good'

March BoT figures show a ‘very strong month’ says GCA

The Barometer of Trade (BoT) figures from the Garden Centre Association (GCA) for March 2024 have been revealed and are ‘very strong’ when compared with the same month last year. According to data submitted by the organisation’s member garden centres, none of the...

Rajesh Gupta joins DObbies

Dobbies Garden Centres appoints Rajesh Gupta

Dobbies further strengthens its senior leadership team with the appointment of Rajesh Gupta as Strategy and Business Development Director. Rajesh qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG and has 20 years’ experience in retail working in strategy, business...

Marcus Eyles leaves Dobbies

Marcus Eyles departs Dobbies after seven years

Marcus Eyles has decided to move on from his role as Horticulture Director at Dobbies to pursue a new chapter in his illustrious 40-year career. Marcus joined Dobbies, the UK’s leading garden centre retailer, in 2017 as Head of Online, before progressing to...

One4all and Dobbies enters partnership

Dobbies partners with One4all gift cards

One4all Gift Cards, is excited to announce its partnership with Dobbies Garden Centres, the UK’s largest garden centre retailer with 77 stores nationwide and nearly 160 years of expertise. Dobbies Garden Centres champion garden living all-year-round offering...

Ben Harrison announced as GCA chairman elect

GCA announces Chairman Elect for 2024/2025

The GCA has announced its Chairman Elect for 2024/25. Ben Harrison, who is Operations Director of Haskins Garden Centres, is stepping into the role and will become Chairman at the GCA’s annual conference in January 2026. Ben says: “I’m delighted to be taking on...

Notcutts celebrates at annual awards

Notcutts annual awards highlights team success

The family-owned garden centre group, Notcutts, gathered at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth on March 14th to celebrate the successes of its colleagues across all 19 garden centres nationwide. The event, attended by over 140 colleagues, family members and...

Read GCR's latest edition!

Subscribe ToThe Wednesday Word

Subscribe To
The Wednesday Word

 

Get all the latest news, events & more straight to your inbox every Wednesday.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This