MORE than eight hundred businesses across Argyll and Bute are still waiting to learn the outcome of their business rates appeals, almost two years after the new valuations were issued.

New Scottish Government figures show that as of December 31, of the 1,714 businesses who appealed their revaluation across the area, 824 are still waiting for a decision from the assessor.

That means that little more than half – 52 per cent, to be exact – of businesses in Argyll and Bute who appealed against the new valuation of their business by the area’s valuation joint board have been informed of the assessor’s decision, leaving a total of £65 million in outstanding rateable value.

READ MORE: Cash boost to help Argyll and Bute's small businesses.

Maurice Golden, a Conservative MSP for the west Scotland region, says the figures once again demonstrate that the business rate appeals process is broken and in need of serious reform.

Mr Golden said: “I know from talking to constituents that rate valuations can be the difference between staying in business or going bust. It is as simple as that.

“To leave the livelihoods of hundreds of families uncertain for almost two years demonstrates a total failure of the system, and a total failure of the authorities to support business.

‘’These statistics show very little progress and highlight the need to urgently speed up the system and give businesses the certainty they need.”