Attn: Local news desks / business reporters

For immediate release: Tuesday 14 February 2017

SALMOND WELCOMES ABERDEENSHIRE COUNCIL'S "BUDGET FOR BUSINESS"

Gordon MP has welcomed the local Council's Budget support for business and jobs

The SNP-led Aberdeenshire Council passed their budget for 2017/18 late last week, which will see support for local services worth £546 million.

Commenting, Mr Salmond said:

"This is an SNP-led Council budget which supports business, protects services, safeguards jobs and boosts education in Aberdeenshire. It carried over a Tory Budget, which proposed to spend less on education and offered not a penny of help to hard-pressed businesses.

"One big difference between Aberdeenshire's SNP-led administration budget and that offered by the Tory-led opposition is in the support that this budget offers for businesses, with a £3 million package to reduce the local business rate burden following the recent revaluation.

"Every rates revaluation in history causes grief and this one is no exception. The question is what are politicians prepared to do about it.

"The Scottish Government has a record to be proud of when it comes to supporting local businesses, with the small business bonus scheme lifting over 100,000 out of business rates altogether. Together with the increase in the small business bonus scheme threshold and the reduction in the rate poundage, this package is one that offers considerable support to local businesses.

"The local package agreed by the SNP-led Council will offer more help and take the edge off some of the local rises. I would encourage every business in Aberdeenshire to give their views to the Council on where the additional help is best targeted.

"While local Tory and Lib Dem politicians have been trying to score points over the recent business rates revaluation, the fact is that when they had the chance to actually do something about it, they chose to propose nothing at all to help local businesses.

"Over Scotland, the Tories moan about too little being spent on education and rates rises that are too high. In Aberdeenshire, they wanted to spend less on education and do nothing to help combat the revaluation rises.

"Aberdeenshire's Tories and Lib Dems had the chance to make a difference with their budget, and instead chose only to make a noise. Their cynical posturing over this issue has been exposed for all to see, demonstrating amply why the SNP-led council administration is the right one to take Aberdeenshire forward."

ENDS