North-East MSP Liam Kerr has demanded action on the “eye-watering” business rates that have been blamed for the closure of shops including Aberdeen’s Kiko Milano.
The Tory MSP raised the closure of the upmarket Union Square make-up store with Nicola Sturgeon yesterday.
At First Minister’s Questions, Mr Kerr said it had been reported the step had been taken “partly down to the eye-watering business rates” faced in the city.
Mr Kerr asked if the Scottish Government would review the rates regime, or would the first minister “stand by while more Aberdeen businesses go under?”.
Ms Sturgeon said business rates had been reviewed recently and added that the valuation system acted independently.
The first minister added: “We have one of the most competitive business rates regimes in the UK and we will continue to look at how we support businesses in all parts of our country—especially given the increasingly difficult circumstances that they face as a result of Brexit.”
Afterwards Mr Kerr added: “It is patently the case that large firms are not competing on a level playing field with comparable businesses in England.
“Large business rates are hampering Aberdeen and the whole north-east, with little appetite to intervene shown by the SNP.
“That could have ruinous consequences for big sites like Union Square and others like it.”