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​Scottish Hospitality Urgent Call for Rate Relief Support

​Scottish Hospitality Urgent Call for Rate Relief Support

Posted by Emily on 18th Dec 2023

In a vital plea ahead of the Scottish Budget on 19 December, the Scottish hospitality sector faces a crucial juncture. Recent analysis, including insights from the Fraser of Allander Institute, reveals that approximately 10,000 hospitality businesses could find themselves without essential support unless the Scottish Government introduces a rates relief program.

This program, advocated for by UKHospitality Scotland, aims to mirror the relief offered in England. Director of UKHospitality Scotland, Leon Thompson, emphasises the high stakes: "The Scottish Government has a golden £230m opportunity to show its support for one of Scotland's most important sectors – hospitality, leisure and tourism – by introducing a business rates relief scheme."

These businesses, currently outside the scope of the small business bonus scheme, confront one of the most challenging economic periods in recent history. Introducing rates relief would offer them stability, enabling them to invest, grow, and contribute more significantly to Scotland's economy through job creation.

Conversely, a decision against such support could lead to dire consequences, including business closures and a hampered ability to foster economic growth. "That would be a tragedy, particularly when the Scottish Government would have had two opportunities to act on delivering a reciprocal business rates relief scheme," Thompson adds.

Additionally, UKHospitality Scotland urges the Government to freeze the rate in the Budget, potentially averting an additional £20m burden on the sector.

As these pivotal decisions loom, the hospitality sector unites in its call to action, emphasising the urgent need for government intervention.

We invite you to share your perspectives on this critical issue facing the Scottish hospitality industry. How do you think the Government should respond? Leave your comments below.