Ayrshire businesses are being betrayed by Conservative & SNP actions on rates as some see rates increases of over 200%.  That’s according to the Liberal Democrats Westminster candidate for Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock James Taylor following the decision by the SNP and Conservatives to vote down a Lib Dem motion in the Scottish Parliament which called for business rates increases to be eased.  James Taylor said:

“A walk down Ayr Sandgate just shows that local businesses are suffering in the current economic climate.  Businesses such as hotels, auction marts, retailers and nurseries are facing huge rates tax bill increases.  I know of two town centre shops in Ayr who have to find an extra £500 a month with one seeing a 259% increase in their rates.”

Gus Stewart, a rating partner at Ryden, summed up the mood:

“It is strange that at a time when transitional relief would probably have been at its most helpful for those seeing significant increases and ratepayers already struggling in the face of a recession, that it has been removed. The Government has publicised the fact that the reduction in the uniform business rate (UBR) will itself cushion the increases, but this is the same uniform business rate as applied in England and it will have a transitional relief scheme. Scottish businesses are once again the poor relations.”

James Taylor added:

“The Conservatives have been calling for transitional support for auction marts and petrol stations but last week voted against it.  Indeed Craig Wilson’s mart in Ayr faces a 38% increase which is £17,000 extra per year in real terms.  Ayrshire businesses who are now looking at crippling increases will feel let down by the Conservatives.  After 65 years of a red-blue government people need to vote Liberal Democrat on May 6th if they want to see a real change that works for them.”

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