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29 October 2018

FSB in Scotland on UK Budget

Reference number: SPUR2910

  • Action required to modernise Scottish high street

Colin Borland, FSB’s head of devolved nations, said: “Today, the Chancellor certainly sought to give smaller firms a shot in the arm and arrest the dramatic decline in small business confidence.

“Action to keep on top of the price of fuel will give many smaller firms valuable room to manoeuvre. We’re pleased to see a change to the VAT threshold ruled out for the next two years. And, changes to investment allowances should encourage more firms to prepare for the future.  

“However, the shadow of the Brexit talks loomed large over today’s Budget. While this Budget sought to put local growth at its heart – much of this could be undermined if we don’t get the right Brexit deal.

“For example, many Scottish employers and communities will hope that UK Ministers take a more sophisticated approach to migration than the one outlined earlier this year.”

Following the Budget, the FSB in Scotland is calling on the Scottish Government to develop a new fund to support town centre diversification and development. Further, the small business campaign group is arguing for a new taper on the Scottish rates relief for smaller firms as well as funding to support a new national online rates system.

Colin said: “High streets are the beating hearts of our local communities. But changing shopping habits and divestment by large public and private bodies – like the banks and the police – have meant that independent firms can feel they’re sustaining our town centres on their own. 

“We need to make Scotland’s high streets fit for the future – that means making them suitable and attractive to a wide range of businesses, residents and public sector bodies.

“The Scottish Government has already set ball rolling on this front – with their innovative Town Centre Regeneration Fund and their ground-breaking Small Business Bonus scheme. New monies as a consequence of today’s Budget should be used to expand and refresh these important initiatives.”


ENDS