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18 Feb 2021

From 1 June 2021 any UK businesses accepting online card payments must be ready to support SCA

17 Feb 2021

The Scottish Government Finance Secretary plans to extend 100% business rates relief for all retailers to cover all of 2021/22

17 Feb 2021

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16 Feb 2021

All ACT members are invited to join the webinars, please contact us if you'd like to attend

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2021-22 Scottish Government Budget Briefing

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News , Political News

'Exceptiscotlandonal circumstances require an exceptional response'

Today, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes set out the Scottish 2021-22 Budget. The Budget seeks to provide a continued response to the Covid-19 pandemic and fiscal security into the future. The central themes of the budget included; creating jobs and investing in a sustainable furture, responding to the heath pandemic and tackling inequalities.

For more information on the Scottish Government Budget, click here and for the full Budget statement, click here.


Business Rates

The Scottish Government is extending the 100% business rates relief for retail and hospitality sectors, including convenience stores, for three months to cover the months of April - June. This will be funded by the 2020/21 business rates relief which some businesses chose to reimburse. The Scottish Government has committed to match any UK Government policy on business rates relief for 2021/22, but will not be able to commit to further relief until the full finance settlement from the 3rd March UK Budget is confirmed. The basic poundage rate used to calculate business rates bills for 2021/22 will also reduce by 0.8 pence to 49p in the pound. The intermediate poundage rate for properties between £51,000 and £95,000 rateable value is an additional 1.3p with the higher poundage rate at 2.6p. The Business Growth Accelerator is also being expanded to cover property improvements requiring a change of use within the planning system to incentivise property use.


Covid-19 Response

The Scottish Government highlighted its continuation to work with the UK Government on responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Scottish Government has called on the UK Government to release Scotland's share of its COVID-19 reserve which would provide up to £1.7 billion of additional funding in 2021-22 to support the continuation of paying business support grants. The Scottish Government also plans to provide an additional £500 million, subject to confirmation of the level of such funding in the delayed UK Budget to support the Covid-19 recovery.

£10 Million to Tackle Obesity

The Budget set out the Scottish Government's continued investment in line with its ambition to halve childhood obesity by 2030 and significantly reduce diet‑related health inequalities. The Scottish Government will support a targeted approach to improve healthier eating for people with low incomes. ACS continues to monitor the Scottish Government's plans to introduce restrictions on the location and promotions of products, which has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.


£2 Billion to Protect the Environment

Today's Budget supports the Scottish Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform portfolio which sets out to facilitate a green economic recovery whilst advancing towards achieving net zero targets in a response to the global climate emergency. The budget announced investment of £2 billion additional funding to decarbonise society through our ways of living, travel and energy. This will provide opportunities to create green and low carbon jobs and encourage green Scottish Industries whilst helping to end Scotland's contribution to climate change by 2045. The Scottish Government also announced the investment of over £70 million to support the shift to zero emission mobility, including electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The Deposit Returns Scheme in Scotland was not mentioned during the Budget today but ACS continues to work closely with the Scottish Government on its implementation, currently scheduled for 2022.


Justice Package of £3 Billion

In 2021-22, to ensure safer communities, the Scottish Government will provide a total funding settlement of £1.3 billion for the Scottish Police Authority, including an uplift of £60 million in the resource budget that will eliminate Police Scotland's structural deficit. An additional £15 million will be provided to the Scottish Police Authority to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 on the policing budget. The Scottish Budget also announced an additional £50 million funding to help the justice system manage a backlog in criminal caseloads caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. There will be an increase of £1.5 million in funding to support victims of crime, building on engagement with stakeholders to respond to a variety of needs. As part of its priority for justice reform, the Scottish Government will continue to invest in reducing reoffending and tackling its causes. The Budget will provide £145.3 million in funding for action on alcohol and drugs, including £79.7 million for drug and alcohol services, delivered through joint decision making by Integration Authorities and Alcohol and Drug Partnerships.

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