Rural organisations have written to Scottish Government Cabinet Secretaries setting out their concerns for the sector following the reintroduction of non-domestic rates on shootings and deer forests.
Scottish Land & Estates, Confor, Scottish Countryside Alliance, NFU Scotland, BASC, ADMG, and SACS have written a joint letter to Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, and Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution. The letter expresses concern that the re-introduction is being rushed, Assessors have not had time or resource to implement the reintroduction satisfactorily, and it is rural businesses and communities that will suffer the consequences.
The organisations have welcomed further dialogue with the Scottish Government and seek the consideration of how unintended impacts on policies, such as those regarding deer management and forestry, can be mitigated. Breathing space would allow businesses to plan while accuracy of valuations is established through the appeals process and the Scottish Government can undertake impact assessments which would fulfil their commitment set out during the Bill stages.
It is hoped this collaborative working and engagement will help with the understanding of how this reintroduction is unintentionally detrimentally affecting rural areas.