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Scottish Budget 2022-2023

10 December 2021 • Laura Masling

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has set out a “transitional” draft Budget at Holyrood.

She said there were reasons for optimism in the economy as the Scottish Fiscal Commission forecasts a recovery to pre-pandemic levels by April to June next year – two years earlier than previously forecast.

The budget report can be viewed on the Scottish Government’s website here and some of the key announcements are summarised below.

COUNCIL TAX:

The council tax freeze – introduced to alleviate the the impact of the pandemic on households – will come to an end and local authorities will be given “full flexibility” in setting rates for 2022-23.

TAX RATES:

Income Tax rates in 2022-23 will remain unchanged.

The starter and basic rate bands are to increase in line with inflation, while the higher and top rates will remain frozen at their current levels.

Land and buildings transaction tax will remain at the same level.

JOBS AND BUSINESSES:

Business rates relief of 50% for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will continue for the first three months of the next financial year while small businesses will pay nothing.

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, as well as those in the aviation sector, have been given 100% relief as a result of the pandemic.

Firms on high streets with a rateable value of less than £15,000 will pay nothing in rates for the whole year, while a new build on high streets will also pay nothing in rates for 12 months after occupation.

CLIMATE:

The Scottish Government is investing £25m this year to start work on transforming farming and food production in Scotland to “be world leading in sustainable and regenerative agriculture” and a further £69.5m to be invested in woodland creation and sustainable management of Scotland’s woodlands.

£2 billion of low-carbon capital investment will go to infrastructure announced for decarbonising homes, buildings, transport and industry.

£20 million goes to the 10-year Just Transition Fund, to help the north east and Moray transition from carbon-based industries.

Responding to the Scottish Government’s Budget for 2022-23, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:

“Scotland’s economy is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic faster and stronger than many expected, and this budget offered the Scottish Government an opportunity to accelerate this return to growth.

“Whilst there was much to welcome in this budget the Scottish Government should have gone further to support Scotland’s businesses, the drivers of economic growth.

“Many economic deterrents as a result of the pandemic remain in place, impacting on footfall on our town and city centre high streets, driving down demand in our vital tourism and aviation sectors, and the looming threat of a return to greater level of restrictions is holding back investment. The Scottish Government should have provided assurances for businesses that targeted financial support will be made available to those ongoing affected sectors to deliver a clear pathway to recovery.”

Full budget can be found here

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