Publication - FOI/EIR release

Questions concerning Non-Domestic rates relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
12 Nov 2020
Questions concerning Non-Domestic rates relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000098824
Date received: 15 Oct 2020
Date responded: 11 Nov 2020
Information requested

1. How much is the COVID 100% rates relief to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors costing theScottish Government in total?

2. How much is the COVID 100% rates relief to aviation industry costing (a) the Scottish Government in total and (b) for each of the Scottish Airports?

3. How much is the COVID 100% rates relief to the retail, hospitality and leisure costing the Scottish Government broken down by each industry sector as follows:

a. Restaurants
b. Cafes
c. Hotels
d. Public houses
e. Shops
f. Clubs

I am aware that the Scottish Government may not have the final cost of the relief until the close of the 2020-21 Financial Year, however, please provide estimates of potential costs of the relief calculated ahead of introduction where possible.

Response

1. The Non-Domestic Rates Reliefs publication, which is expected to be published on 30 November 2020, will show the value of the relief as at 1 July 2020. As this is due for publication within 12 weeks of your request, an exemption under section 27(1) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) applies to that information. The publication will be available at: https://www.gov.scot/collections/local-government-finance-statistics/.

However, the value of the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) relief was estimated to be £824.3 million, of which airports and other aviation-related properties account for an estimated £18.8 million. This was based on the Scottish Assessors' Valuation Roll as at 1 January 2020, and property-level relief information as at 31 May 2019.

2. The estimated value of Covid-related reliefs awarded to each airport, as well as to other aviationrelated properties is £18.8 million.

A breakdown per Scottish airport is available at http://www.gov.scot.publications/foi-202000039712/.

3. The Scottish Government does not hold industry sector data on non-domestic rates, so instead we have provided the estimated value of the RHL relief by property 'core description' as listed on the Valuation Roll (Table 1).

Core

Relief value

a. Restaurant

£55,410,000

b. Café

£8,627,000

c. Hotel

£117,784,000

d. Public House

£50,057,000

e. Shop

£439,166,000

f. Club

£14,679,000

All

£685,723,000

Figures may not sum due to rounding. Property rateable value and core data as at 1 January 2020. Additional value of RHL relief estimated using property-level relief data as at 31 May 2019.

The property core description is a classification used by the Scottish Assessors to describe the type of property, and does not necessarily accurately reflect the latter's use: for example, a property listed as a 'shop' may in fact be offering financial services. Eligibility for the RHL relief is defined by the whole or main use of a premises as set out in The Non-Domestic Rates (Coronavirus Reliefs) (Scotland) Regulations 2020, as amended. Therefore a property listed on the Valuation Roll as a 'shop' may not necessarily be eligible for the RHL relief, while a property used wholly or mainly as a 'retail shop' defined in the regulations should be eligible regardless of its description on the Valuation Roll. It remains for Local Authorities to collect and administer non-domestic rates, including ascertaining relief eligibility, based on the relevant legislation.

Updated property-level data will be available from 30 November 2020.

About FOI

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG