Scottish Government proposals to milk big retailers for additional cash have been condemned as a threat to jobs and economic recovery.
Scotland’s cabinet secretary for finance and sustainable growth, John Swinney, yesterday raised the prospect of higher business rates for supermarkets and other big store groups in a bid to raise an extra £30m.
Scottish Property Federation chairman Malcolm Naish attacked the idea as a threat to inward investment in Scotland and said it risks “killing the goose that laid the golden egg”.
Naish said: “The selective imposition of additional business rates on large retailers, who are key drivers of our economy, raises questions over whether Scotland is really open to business investment and long-term sustainable economic growth.
“The consequences of supplementary rates on a few large retailers may be far greater and longer reaching than the Scottish Government realises.”
The measures would pose a particular threat to redevelopment and regeneration projects, it is feared.
A spokesperson for property giant Land Securities questioned the wisdom of the plan and said: “It is yet again putting Scotland in an uncompetitive position against the rest of the UK when it comes to attracting inward investment.
“The potential supermarket developments have for regenerating an area is a significant opportunity for local economies and one that should not be sacrificed.”