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Uniform Business Rate

Volume 165: debated on Friday 19 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the impact of the uniform business rate in Scotland since its introduction.

The Government's intention is to move towards a national non-domestic rate in Scotland at the same level as that in England. Powers were taken in the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 to enable the Secretary of State to prescribe the non-domestic rate for each Scottish local authority as from 1 April 1990, and on 21 December my right hon. and learned Friend announced the rates to be prescribed for 1990–91. Rates have been set so as to reduce revenue raised from non-domestic ratepayers next year by £80 million which is equivalent to a reduction in rate poundages of 6·25 percent. Our intention is to continue to move towards a common rate over the next few years, after which a national rate will be prescribed at the same level as that in England.