Moray MP Douglas Ross has welcomed an SNP U-turn on extending business rates relief after the UK Government announced a further £1.1billion Covid funding boost.
SNP Finance Secretary Kate Forbes finally agreed today to extend support for businesses following repeated demands from the Scottish Conservatives.
The move followed an announcement from Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay on Monday that £1.1billion in extra funding would be provided for Covid-19 support, taking the total provided through the Barnett Formula alone to £9.7billion.
The SNP have now confirmed that businesses in the retail, leisure, hospitality, aviation and newspaper sectors will receive rates relief for the whole of the next financial year, rather than for just three months as previously planned.
The move on support for newspapers followed a defeat last week for the SNP after the Scottish Conservatives gained cross-party support for further rates relief to be given to local newspapers.
Scottish Conservative MP for Moray Douglas Ross said:
“This is a very welcome, and long overdue U-turn from the SNP. I have been calling for rates relief to be extended since December last year.
“Businesses here in Moray should not have had to wait this long to hear that rates relief would continue beyond the three months planned by the SNP.
“Now they will be able to breathe a little more easily knowing that they won’t face huge bills just as they hope to be getting back on their feet.
“And the reprieve for newspapers will be a lifeline for many struggling local titles, just a matter of days after SNP politicians voted against this at Holyrood.
“The turnaround from the SNP has come as a direct result of increased funding from the UK Government.
“Once again, the Conservative government is showing that it will do everything possible to protect our economy from the worst impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.”