25 August 2016

  |  CBI Scotland


Guest comment – From Chair of Scottish review of business rates

Ken Barclay, chair of the Scottish Government’s business rates review group issues an invitation to CBI Scotland members to come forward with their views on reform of the rates system before the consultation period concludes on 7 October.

Guest comment – From Chair of Scottish review of business rates

As Chair of the business rates review group, I have been tasked by the Scottish Government, to recommend improvements to the current business rates system in Scotland. 

The review group is made up of individuals with significant experience in areas including entrepreneurship, tax, finance and investment, local and national government.

However, as a ratepayer and business owner, you know the system better than anyone and I need people like you to come forward with suggestions to reform the business rates system in Scotland.

I want to draw on the experience and expertise of CBI members to learn about flaws in the current rates system and how it might be improved to allow businesses like yours to invest and grow.

I’d also like to hear what you think are the benefits within the current system, the things about it that work well and that we should look to retain or even expand. Are there lessons we can learn from other countries that do things differently? Is there a way to develop the system so it reflects changing market places?  Is there a way we might make it more responsive to changing economic conditions?

All contributions are welcomed and no idea is too big or too small.

Of course, it goes without saying that businesses will continue to have to pay local taxes for the services they receive, but I want to know how you would adapt the current business rates system in Scotland and how this could unlock the potential of your business and others like it? And, I’d welcome hearing about the wider benefits your ideas could make for business in Scotland especially if they could make Scotland a more attractive place to invest in. 

I have no doubt that this will prove to be a challenging task but I believe together we have the ability to make the most of this opportunity.

The review group will consider all submissions made to us and will use these to make recommendations to Scottish Government Ministers next year. 

If you are interested in contributing to the work of the Barclay review group you can submit your suggestions for the re-design of the business rates system by 7 October 2016. You can read more, including details of our remit, and find out how to respond here.

All submissions and enquiries regarding the business rates review should be emailed to ratesreview@gov.scot 


I hope that you contribute to our conversation and help us design a solution together. 


Ken Barclay

Chair, Scottish Business Rates Review Group


Ken Barclay is the former Chair of RBS Scotland and a former member of the CBI Scotland Council