MSP backs support for North-east after Barclay review findings

Gillian Martin spoke in Parliament after it was confirmed there would be continued support for more than 1,000 offices in the North-East
Gillian Martin spoke in Parliament after it was confirmed there would be continued support for more than 1,000 offices in the North-East

The Scottish Government has revealed it will continue to support businesses in the North-East with continued transitional relief for office spaces.

The move was announced by Finance Minister Derek Mackay as he gave a ministerial statement on following the Barclay Review recommended last month.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin spoke in Parliament after it was confirmed there would be continued support for more than 1,000 offices in the North-East with increases in bills capped at 12.5%. The Minister had initially announced support for the region in February.

Ms Martin said: “As a North-East MSP representing Aberdeenshire East, I am very pleased to hear that transitional relief is to be continued by the government.

“The Cabinet Secretary will know that both Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City Councils have implemented local relief schemes.

“Will he join me in calling on both council administrations to match the Scottish Government’s commitment to the region with the confirmation of these local schemes.”

In response to the question, the Minister said under the Community Empowerment Ace legislation, anyone could devise any scheme “which is appropriate”.

He added: “Three councils have chosen to use these powers and I would encourage all councillors to look at these powers to see what else is appropriate to local circumstances, but certainly for these areas that have delivered a local scheme I would encourage them to continue with that, especially in view of the commitment by the Scottish Government to continue with the support we have announced today.

Ms Martin added: “The North-East has been hit hard in the past three years by the global downturn in the oil price.

“The Scottish Government has acknowledged the challenges faced by the local economy again today, as it did too in February.

“Allowing bills to be capped at 12.5% will help to give a bit of breathing space to businesses who need it.

“The further measures taken will create a good deal for business and a good deal for the local economy.”