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Business leaders demand G8 payment

Business chiefs seeking compensation over the disruption to trade caused by G8 protests have criticised the Scottish Executive's "hard-nosed" refusal.

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) wrote to ministers claiming the demonstrations had been a "disaster", costing firms in Stirling alone £1.2 million.

But finance minister Tom McCabe has rejected the plea and said disruption could have been worse had it not been for the major policing operation.

More than 350 people were arrested at flashpoints in Edinburgh, Stirling and Auchterarder during the meeting of world leaders at Gleneagles in July.

In a letter to businesses, Mr McCabe said: "Neither the Scottish Executive nor the UK Government can accept any claims for compensation from business for interruption to trade or damage to premises.

"I am sure you will understand that to pay compensation to business from the public purse would set a precedent which is neither sustainable nor appropriate."

He added: "The toll to businesses and residents in Stirling and elsewhere in Scotland could have been much greater had the police not prepared and responded so efficiently."

In one of the worst protests during the summit, anarchists from an eco-camp in Stirling went on the rampage in the city, attacking businesses, residential areas, fighting with police and blockading the M9.

Gerry Dowds, director of FPB Scotland, labelled Mr McCabe's refusal "hard-nosed" and said the Executive should grant a business rates refund.

"This is fobbing off real grievances about loss of cash to hard-working firms balancing tight profit margins - and let's not forget, business never asked for this G8 summit," he said.


Source: http://news.scotsman.com