It’s time to rattle your local MSP about rates
Life sucks. But that doesn’t mean that you need to suck it up when you’re getting a raw deal?
Like the amount licensees are paying in rates.
If you’re sick to the back teeth of paying through the nose, click here to find out who your local MSP is, and here for a letter that you can address, sign and send to them to get them to do something about it.
The time to act is now.
We talk to a lot of licensees and there’s not a licensee in the country who doesn’t mention rates when we ask about business pressures, and you might have thought there would have been relief all round when Scottish Finance Minister Derek Mackay announced that the 12.5% plus inflation cap (15.88% in cash terms) would continue until 2022. But the consensus is that rates bills should have been frozen and not capped or reduced. And should we have a hard Brexit – the relief may not be there at all in any case!
The cap is not automatically granted to licensed premises – it has to be applied for by each business under European Union rules on State Aid. In fact, for some, the extended cap to 2022 means nothing because many in the hospitality industry will have already used up the maximum amount of Transition relief allowed, which is £180,000 over a three-year period.
There has also been no mention what will happen to the cap after Brexit? After all, it is funded by Europe and not by the Scottish Government.
There is no doubt that if a fairer rating system is not implemented Scottish hospitality businesses will close, and those still operating will make significant staff reductions. UKHospitality believes it could cost 10% of hospitality jobs if the current state of play continues into 2022.
In Scotland, this would equate to more than 20,000 jobs!
That’s why it’s down to you to contact your local MP, and preferably before the December 8 deadline date for the Scottish Government working out its budget.