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16 December 2013

Stevenson Welcomes Support for Small Businesses

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the Scottish Government’s proposed funding settlement for local government, which provides funding to maintain Scotland’s place as the best place to do business in the UK, funding to deliver 600 hours of childcare and the continuation of the Council Tax freeze.

Finance Secretary John Swinney has announced that the Scottish Government will act to ensure that Scotland continues to provide the most comprehensive package of support for small businesses anywhere in the UK, by capping the annual increase in business rates poundage at 2%.

The funding settlement also includes £190 million for Local Government over financial years 2014-15 and 2015-16 to fund an increase in nursery care from 475 hours a year to 600 hours a year for 3 and 4 year olds and looked-after 2 year olds from 2014.

Meanwhile the Council Tax freeze will continue, with bills not having risen by a single penny since the SNP took office. By the end of the current Parliament, this will have saved the average household around £1,200.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:

“Families in the North-east faced massive Council Tax rises before 2007 and in Government the SNP continues to provide financial support for local councils to maintain the Council Tax Freeze to redress the balance of taxation for families at a challenging time.

“Additionally, local small businesses are supported through the SNP Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme that provides significant rates relief to this lifeblood of our local economy. This maintains Scotland’s competitive edge over other parts of the UK and supports local investment.

“Meanwhile the funding to provide a substantial increase in childcare provision is one that will be of real benefit to thousands of families across the North-east.

“It provides us with a platform upon which to build the childcare revolution we have proposed for an independent Scotland – using the powers of a Yes vote to ensure the increased revenues from supporting people into employment through childcare provision are put to work to fund and maintain further improvements in childcare support instead of disappearing into Westminster’s Treasury.”

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