MP and MSP welcome 'overdue' extended rates relief decision

POLITICIANS David Mundell and Oliver Mundell this week welcomed a rates relief extension for newspaper publishers, predicting a further difficult financial year ahead.



But the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP and Dumfriesshire constituency MSP described as 'overdue' the change-of-heart by the Scottish Government to include print news publishers amongst sectors receiving 100 per cent rates relief from April.


The move follows an extra £1.1 billion in pandemic assistance from the UK Government being provided to the SNP Holyrood administration.


David Mundell said: "I'm pleased SNP Ministers appear to have finally acknowledged the dire straights facing the newspaper industry and how important it is to help it come through the crisis.


"In rural areas like this, local newspapers have a particularly important role -- as have other media platforms -- in conveying vital information and analysis about the pandemic.


"I'm equally encouraged that retail, leisure, hospitality and the aviation sectors will also receive extended rates relief for the whole of the forthcoming financial year."


Oliver Mundell said: "Our local newspapers have a special place in the communities they serve and extending rates relief will hopefully help them through these challenging times.


"I'm disappointed it has taken so long for SNP Ministers to respond to widespread concerns and make the decision and to provide extended rates relief for another 12 months in all the qualifying business sectors. 


"The Scottish Government could have done this weeks ago given the substantial additional funds previously provided to them by Westminster."