Scottish Government commits £875 million of new reliefs for Non-Domestic Rates

The Scottish Fiscal Commission has today published updated forecasts of income from Non-Domestic Rates (NDR) to reflect the Scottish Government’s commitments to support businesses in response to Covid-19.

The Scottish Government has announced a relief for all ratepayers for the financial year starting in April. This relief effectively reduces the tax rate for all properties, resulting in £51 million less being paid in NDR in 2020-21.
A second relief means all properties in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors along with all airports pay no NDR in 2020-21, a reduction in NDR of £824 million. The combined effect of these two new policies will reduce NDR bills by £875 million.

The UK Government has announced a package of support for business including changes to business rates in England. The Scottish Government will receive funding through the Barnett formula which will cover the costs of these two reliefs along with other policies announced by the Scottish Government.

The Commission provides independent forecasts to assist the Scottish Parliament and the public in understanding the Scottish Government’s NDR policy. The Scottish Government has announced other measures not related to NDR to support businesses and individuals in Scotland, the effect of these policies will be reflected in our next forecasts.

Notes for Editors 
1.The Commission’s Supplementary Costing: Non-Domestic Rates Measures – March 2020 has now been published. These forecasts update our February 2020 forecasts and do not reflect any changes to the economic outlook since then. 
2.Our publication accompanies the Scottish Government’s legislation introduced to the Scottish Parliament, introducing two new reliefs for NDR in 2020-21. The first relief is effectively a 1.6 per cent reduction in the tax rate in 2021-22 for all properties (the relief is equivalent to reversing the increase in 2020-21 poundage by CPI inflation). This relief reduces NDR revenues by £51 million. The second relief is a 100 per cent relief for all occupied properties in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors along with airports. This second relief reduces NDR revenues £824 million. In total NDR revenues are reduced by £875 million.