Scottish Government establishes new Tax Advisory Group

Scottish Government establishes new Tax Advisory Group

Deputy First Minister Shona Robison

The Scottish Government has established a Tax Advisory Group to deliver strategic advice on the tax system as part of its Medium-Term Financial Strategy.

This move is aligned with a recommendation from the New Deal for Business. The newly-formed group consists of leading economists, academics, and representatives from various sectors such as the private, public, and third sectors. Prominent members include delegates from the Fraser of Allander Institute, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the Robertson Trust, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, and the Scottish Trades Union Congress.

Convened by Deputy First Minister Shona Robison, the group aims to create a balanced, sustainable tax system that supports both competitive business environments and local communities. The group’s objective is to explore opportunities for wider public engagement and to present insights from various sectors of Scottish society. The outcomes of these discussions will contribute to the Scottish Budget 2024/25 and the longer-term tax strategy.

David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, reacted positively to this initiative, welcoming the Scottish Government’s efforts to engage and listen to businesses. He urged the Tax Advisory Group to address the burden of business rates and called for a mindset shift, from maximising tax revenues to promoting investment into retail destinations.

The creation of the Tax Advisory Group follows the recommendations of the New Deal for Business Group. This earlier group was set up by First Minister Humza Yousaf to revitalise the government’s relationship with the business community, suggesting reforms to non-domestic rates and the return of the Independent Regulatory Review Group.

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