Nearly 2000 sign business rates petition

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay is meeting business leaders in the North-east
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay is meeting business leaders in the North-east

Nearly 2,000 people have signed an online petition in the last two days objecting to massive increases to business rates affecting companies in the North-east.

It comes as Finance Secretary Derek Mackay meets business leaders in Aberdeen to discuss the issue.

Mr Mackay agreed to talks with Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and Aberdeen Inspired bosses amid growing anger about rates rises of up to 250% that have prompted warnings of job losses and companies going bust.

North East Conservative MSP Ross Thomson, who set up the petition, said: “There has been quite an incredible response to the petition since it was set up on Wednesday, with more than 1,700 people already signing up.

“I think this illustrates the strength of feeling locally on this issue and is a timely reminder to Derek Mackay on the day he visits Aberdeen of just how serious this situation is.

“It is not scaremongering to say that jobs could be lost and that some firms will not be able to continue trading under these conditions.”