A north-east businessman has called on the Scottish Government to respond “proactively” to a Supreme Court ruling on business rates.
Judges have decided that a building should not be charged full business rates as if it were fully usable while it was undergoing refurbishment.
However, in Scotland, properties only escape rates if they are being converted into another use as opposed to simply being altered.
Businessman, Alan Massie, has said there was now the possibility of Scottish businesses being put at a significant disadvantage to ones at the south of the border.
He stated: “I would say that this would affect around 40 to 50% of construction companies in the north-east.
“As you currently have to pay money on businesses during the construction period, there will be less speculative buying.
“This will totally dry up in the future if you still have to pay business rates on an empty property and it will have a massive effect on the construction industry.
“Scottish businesses could be at a significant disadvantage compared to those in England.
“The Scottish Government should respond to this ruling and they should be proactive rather than reactive.”
A Scottish government spokeswoman said: “We note the judgment of the Supreme Court.
“Our package of measures delivers a tax cut of £155million, helping those who might be impacted by a revaluation.
“From April 1, more than half of businesses will pay no rates, seven out of 10 will pay either no or less rates than they do currently, and the total package of reliefs we are offering will increase to more than £660m.”