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Draft Scottish Budget highlights

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The draft Scottish Budget was presented to the Scottish parliament on 16 December 2015.

The finance secretary John Swinney announced that Scottish rate of income tax will not rise next year.

Swinney also unveiled a 3% increase on land and buildings transaction tax on many second homes and buy-to-let properties.

Other measures:

  • a review of business rates
  • the freeze on council tax will continue
  • a promise to increase free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds.


Andy Willox, Scottish policy convenor at the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“The Scottish Government has carefully taken the pulse of the business community at large.

“Mr Swinney must be applauded for grasping this thistle and promising to deliver a tax more appropriate for the 21st century.

“Changes to supplements and reliefs might alarm some medium sized firms – though a huge number of small firms will warmly welcome the Scottish Government’s ongoing commitment to the small business bonus scheme.”

John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords, said:

“The supplementary tax on the purchase of second homes will have a huge impact on the buy-to-let market and exacerbate an already serious shortage of properties in many areas. We firmly believe that the biggest losers will be tenants who will now find it even harder to get the accommodation they want at a price they can afford.”

Talk to us about how these measures may affect you.