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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5O-02124: Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 16 May 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to support retailers and reduce the number of vacant premises on high streets.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 23 May 2018

As I set out in my response to Jackie Baillie in‎ S5O-02117, the Scottish Government recognises that the High Street retail sector in Scotland is being significantly impacted by fundamental changes to shopping habits and competition from businesses that are
‎e-commerce enabled.

I set out a number of actions in response to Ms Baillie including our £720m package of non-domestic rates support to businesses which has taken 100,000 premises out of rates altogether.

As I set out to Ms Baillie, the Scottish Government will continue to use all levers at our disposal to ensure that Scotland remains an attractive place for retailers to do business, however Mr Stewart’s colleagues in the UK Government may also need to reflect on their austerity and Brexit policies that are impacting on consumer confidence and damaging our high streets.