Supporting Rates Relief For Local Newspapers


Business rates are a devolved matter, and Alan Reid MP is calling on the Scottish Government to show the same level of support for local weekly newspapers as in England, after the Chancellor announced a commission into ways of supporting the press.

In a report accompanying the 2015 Budget the Chancellor wrote: "Local newspapers are an important source of information for communities and a vital part of a healthy democracy. To support them as they adapt to new technology and changing circumstances, the Government will consult on whether to introduce a business rates relief for local newspapers in England."

Mr Reid agreed: "I'd like to see this taken on board here in Scotland. I think I can say in all safety, that my constituency of Argyll and Bute has one of the highest number of weekly newspapers."

Business rates are devolved to both Scotland and Wales; it would be up to the Scottish Government or Welsh Assembly to either carry out their own commissions or take on board the English findings.

The Argyll and Bute MP added: "I agree with the Chancellor that a good, unbiased local newspaper is an essential for a healthy democracy to flourish."


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