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Closure of Aberdeen branch of Molton Brown raised at First Minister’s Questions

North East MSP Liam Kerr.
North East MSP Liam Kerr.

North East MSP Liam Kerr has called for a business rates review following the closure of Molton Brown on Union Street in Aberdeen.

The Tory MSP made the plea at First Minister’s Questions, saying local people had been left unemployed during “very difficult times” for the north-east.

Mr Kerr added: “That is due in no small part to this Government’s business rates regime.”

Ms Sturgeon was asked if she had any plans “to review a rates regime that punishes the north-east disproportionately?”

The closure of the Aberdeen branch of the fragrance store chain was announced this week. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The first minister disputed Mr Kerr’s claim, describing it as “not true”.
She said: “I absolutely understand the burden of rates on businesses at the best of times, but particularly right now. That is why we have invested heavily in rates relief schemes throughout this crisis.

“We will continue to consider the support that we are able to give as we come out of this crisis and as businesses such as the one that the member mentioned can start to open and trade again.”

She added: “I come back to the point that this is an unprecedented crisis and all of us need to ensure that we bring all of our resources and focus to dealing not only with the immediacy of it but with the aftermath as well.

“I look forward to having the support — and, yes, the scrutiny and constructive criticism — of those who genuinely want to tackle these issues, as opposed to those who only want to make party-political points about them.”

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