14 February 2020

The National Hair & Beauty Federation is celebrating after succeeding in lobbying the Scottish Government to scrap plans to pass over control of business rates to local authorities.

Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) voted this week (4 February 2020) to retain the Uniform Business Rate and ditch proposals previously put forward as part of the Non-Domestic Rates Bill.

This comes as the NHBF lobbied MSPs to highlight the huge contribution the 3,725 hair and beauty businesses currently operating in Scotland make to the high street and the pressures they are already under. 

Members of the Scottish Parliament had voted in December to scrap the uniform business rate which sets the poundage for business rates for all businesses in Scotland, which, if passed, could have led to higher rates for businesses and the loss of cross-Scotland rate reliefs benefits. 

The NHBF also raised concerns via a joint letter with other leading groups such as FSB Scotland, Scottish Retail Consortium and CBI Scotland, who are all opposed to the current proposals.

Speaking of the victory, Victoria Brownlie, NHBF director of policy and public affairs said: “Through our persistence in highlighting our concerns to the Local Government Committee and Members of the Scottish Parliament, as well as working with others in related industries, we have succeeded in persuading MSPs to think again on this. Whilst there is likely to be a wider discussion about reviewing local government finances in the future, for now we can say this matter has been kicked into the long grass which is great news.”