Providing support during the COVID-19 emergency.
Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP addressed the Scottish Parliament on the economic impact of COVID-19 in Scotland and warned that the Scottish economy is facing an immediate collapse in demand.
She outlined the actions being taken by the SNP Government to support businesses including a package of measures worth £2.2 billion from 01 April which supersede previous announcements:
· A full year’s 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, hospitality and tourism
· £10,000 grants for small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief who currently pay no rates
· £25,000 grants for hospitality, leisure and retail properties with a rateable value between £18,000 and £51,000
· 1.6% relief for all properties
· Urging local authorities to relax planning regulations to allow pubs and restaurants to operate temporarily as takeaways
· Extending the go live date for the deposit return scheme to July 2022
· Halting introduction of the Visitor Levy Bill
Ms Hyslop said:
“The overall economic impact will be significant, although its scale and duration are difficult to predict.
“Depressed economic activity this year will have long-term implications for the public finances through lower tax receipts and higher welfare spending.
“This will have severe consequences and we are treating it as an economic emergency, triggered by the enormity of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“The SNP Government is delivering substantial grants and tax breaks to keep companies in business and people in jobs, with an emphasis on supporting individuals and households.
“These measures have already been warmly welcomed by business and tourism organisations and will help mitigate some of the damage currently impacting on much of our economy.”