Non-domestic rates reform: analysis of responses to consultation on Barclay implementation

Analysis of responses to our consultation on accepted recommendations requiring legislation that came out of the Barclay Review of non-domestic rates. The consultation ran from 25 June until 17 September 2018.

2. Introduction

2.1 In November 2018 ERS was commissioned by the Scottish Government to undertake an analysis of the responses to 'Barclay Implementation: A consultation on non-domestic rates reform'. Responses to the consultation will inform the Scottish Government's implementation of the accepted Barclay Review recommendations, some of which require primary legislation.

2.2 The Barclay Review aimed to assess the current non-domestic rates system and determine how it could be improved to better reflect economic conditions and support investment and growth.

2.3 The Review's report was published in August 2017 and contained 30 recommendations, grouped under the following headings:

  • measures to support economic growth;
  • measures to improve ratepayer experience and administration of the system;
  • measures to increase fairness and ensure a level playing field

2.4 Several Barclay recommendations can be implemented administratively but others require the Government to bring forward legislation. On the 12 September 2017 the Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay responded in a statement to Parliament to some of the recommendations in the Review, and proposed a number of changes to non-domestic rates from 1 April 2018. On 14 December 2017 an implementation plan was published, including responses to all 30 recommendations, accepting all but four recommendations fully: two recommendations were accepted only in part (Recommendations 24 and 26) and two were rejected outright (Recommendations 28 and 29). The Government also set up an Implementation Advisory Group which helped design a consultation on the implementation of the Barclay Review recommendations the Government accepted to consider.

2.5 The consultation ran from 25 June until 17 September 2018. The consultation comprised of 26 open questions and sought the views of stakeholders only on the implementation of the accepted recommendations of the Barclay Review which require primary legislation (Recommendations 1, 2, 5(b), 13, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 30). Annex 1 shows the current stage of all of the Barclay Review's recommendations, taken from Barclay Implementation: A consultation on non-domestic rates reform (June 2018).

2.6 A total of 148 responses were received, 124 from organisations and 24 from individuals. Eighty four responses were received via the online consultation response portal Citizen Space and a further 64 were submitted as letters or by email. A list of respondents is available in Annex 2.

2.7 This report presents an analysis of the responses to this consultation. It is important to note that this only represents the views of those who chose to respond to this consultation.

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