The Scottish Government published their Programme for Government on Tuesday [5 September]. The main focus was on education but we have read through the report and there are a few areas that are relevant to the charity retail sector.
An important principle in the programme is “inclusive growth that combines increased prosperity with greater equality, creates opportunities for all, and distributes the benefits of increased prosperity fairly is a key pillar of our economic strategy.”
The Scottish Government wants to establish an advisory group to consider fiscal and other measures to reduce waste and boost the circular economy – for example, a possible levy on single use coffee cups.
The Barclay Review
The Barclay Review was published last month and the Scottish Government has pledged that 100,000 businesses pay no rates at all through the Small Business Bonus Scheme.
The programme mentions they are to urgently take forward the Barclay Review, in particular:
- introduce a new relief for day nurseries to support childcare provision
- move to three-yearly revaluations from 2022 with valuations based on market conditions on a date one year prior
- support town centres by expanding Fresh Start relief
- commission a separate review of plant and machinery valuations with particular focus on renewable energy sector valuations and statutory improvements to property including sprinkler systems
An implementation plan is to follow shortly.
Volunteering is also mentioned. The Scottish Government promises to be: “Bold in realising our vision for volunteering and the role volunteers can play in shaping the lives of their communities. Volunteering is transformational: for the volunteer, for the beneciary and for communities. We will do more to support groups currently facing barriers to engaging in their communities, including disabled people, older people and people out of work.
“Building on positive trends for youth volunteering, we will work with young people throughout the Year of Young People 2018 to better understand opportunities and motivations and ensure young people can contribute on issues that matter to them.”
There are also a few changes around the new devolved social security powers around inclusivity and creating opportunities for disabled people and those who are at risk of long term employment. The programmes that are created from this may provide opportunities for charity shops to provide internships.