MSPs meet with independent schools


Holyrood’s Local Government and Communities Committee met with representatives from independent schools to hear first-hand of their concerns about proposed changes to business rates.

The Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill, also known as “Business Rates Bill”, proposes a number of reforms, including the end of the right for most independent schools to claim charitable relief from business rates.

After the meeting at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh, Local Government and Communities Committee Convener, James Dornan MSP said:

“This visit to meet with representatives of various independent schools was an invaluable opportunity to hear of the impact they think this Bill will have on the sector.

“The issue of charitable relief for independent schools has drawn a lot of attention. We recognise that these schools have concerns and it was important to hear directly from them today.

“The changes we were discussing today are just one aspect of a Bill that proposes a number of changes to what is the 2nd second highest revenue raising tax in Scotland. It is therefore vital that we hear views from all sides before drawing any conclusions.” 

The visit took place on Wednesday 12th June at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh.

The Local Government Committee has been appointed “lead” Committee on the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill, a bill to reform various aspects of non-domestic rates (also called business rates). The Bill arises from an independent review of non-domestic rates (the “Barclay Review”) and a Scottish Government consultation.

More information on the Committee’s scrutiny of the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill can be found on the Scottish Parliament website.


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