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17 Feb 2021

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Scotland announces business rates holiday extension until April 2022

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News , Political News

scotlandScottish Government Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has updated the Scottish Parliament on developments with the Scottish Budget 2021-22.

Forbes announced plans to extend 100% business rates relief for all retailers to cover all of 2021/22. This follows a commitment to provide additional relief if finance from the UK Government allowed. An application process will be required to access the relief from local councils, which will be light-touch and used to not provide relief to retailers which do not want it after some repaid relief monies earlier in the pandemic.

"When I presented our budget last month I guaranteed to extend non-domestic rates relief further if I was given the necessary resources. I can now deliver on that promise, providing the UK Budget in March delivers the funding we require," Forbes said. 

"In advance of final allocations in the Spring Budget Revision on 25 February, I can confirm further 2020-21 non-recurring Covid support will be made available as follows:

  • £275 million to support Covid pressures including for lost income in Local Government
    • Councils will have the freedom and flexibility to decide how it is deployed to support the range of COVID pressures they are facing, ensuring continuity for the critical services they provide
  • £40 million for local government to support the ongoing deployment of safety mitigations within our schools. This builds on the £50 million we had previously committed, and provides certainty to local government as we proceed with the phased reopening of schools and ELC settings.
  • £60 million for Further and Higher Education
    • £40m resource funding to help colleges and universities maintain research activity, protect jobs and help students.
    • £20m additional capital to boost research and knowledge exchange.
  • £25 million to tackle poverty and inequality
    • Together with projected underspends on wider measures, this will enable us to make two key investments.
    • Firstly, a further £100 COVID Hardship Payment for children and young people receiving free school meals on the basis of low income.
    • The funding offered will also enable support to be extended to children who receive free lunches within early learning and childcare settings.
    • However we know that it is not only families with children that are struggling financially.
    • Therefore I am also announcing that we will increase the funding available to councils to tackle financial insecurity in their local areas by an additional £20 million.
  • And lastly £5.7 million for Covid pressures on Forestry."

The full announcement is available here.

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