Figures reveal that businesses in the Borders will be left over £700,000 out-of-pocket as a result of Scottish Government changes to business rates.
In response to a parliamentary question, the Public Finance and Digital Economy Minister revealed that since the SNP Government doubled business rates in 2015, the amount of money paid by local businesses has risen by 51.5%.
In the 2015/16 tax year, Borders businesses were taxed £619,400. Over the current tax year this is expected to rise to almost £1.4 million.
This is true across Scotland. It is estimated that SNP tax hikes will cost Scottish businesses £190 million.
Latest figures have revealed medium and large firms north of the border have had to cough up the extra cash as a result of changes to the large business supplement.
In 2018/19, it is estimated the total bill for big companies will be £129,252,100, according to the parliamentary written answer by SNP ministers.
However, if that rate had been kept on par with the rest of the UK, businesses would only have to pay £64,626,550.
Since 2016/17, the additional burden totals £190,776,450.
Michelle Ballantyne, MSP for South Scotland, has warned that the nationalists’ high tax agenda would hurt the Borders economy and reduce job opportunities in the area.
Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented:
“After local businesses have complained that they are struggling on our high streets, these figures further highlight how the SNP Government is hurting our businesses.
“Under the SNP, Scotland is now the highest-taxed part of the UK for income tax and is also the highest-taxed part of the UK to run a business.
“After already burdening our businesses, the SNP are now considering implementing an out-of-town levy which will hurt businesses even more and make the tax system unnecessarily complicated.
“It’s time that the SNP start focusing on improving our economy and encouraging our businesses, rather than weighing them down with these unsustainable taxes.”