The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) has warned that the country’s retailers face a tough 2017.
Inflation and rising council tax in Scotland are expected to bring “formidable challenges” to retailers as consumer spending is expected to plummet.
Head of the SRC David Lonsdale called upon the government to create policies more coherently, so as to avoid retailers having to handle a “hotchpotch of government imposed cost pressures” on top of wider financial issues.
“In many respects our economy lives or dies by what happens to consumer spending”, commented Lonsdale.
“That’s why policy-makers should be concerned about the formidable challenges for Scottish retail in the year ahead.
“This reinforces the need for government at every level to work more effectively with the retail industry to help it keep down the cost of living for consumers and to help it thrive and prosper.
“A more coherent approach towards policy-making in the year ahead is certainly required.”
In response to Lonsdale’s calls for a more coherence a spokesperson from the Scottish government said: “We announced a package of action to reduce business rates as part of the budget.
“The Small Business Bonus Scheme – which has already saved firms more than £1bn in total – will be expanded from 2017 to lift 100,000 properties out of rates completely.
“In addition, 8,000 business properties will no longer pay the Large Business Supplement and the overall business rates poundage – the core tax rate that applies to the rateable value of business properties – will be cut by 3.7% to 46.6p.”