No plans for business rates relief in Programme for Government


The First Minister launched the Scottish Governments Programme for Government yesterday which outlines the official plans for 2023-24 and there was no news on business rates relief, a key ask of hospitality businesses.

UKHospitality Scotland Executive Director Leon Thompson said, “As a sector contributing almost £8 billion to the economy and employing 170,000 people across Scotland, hospitality is a key partner for the Scottish Government in creating a wellbeing economy. By offering good jobs in every part of the country, hospitality can help reduce poverty and stimulate the economic growth our country needs.

“The £25 million for housing in rural areas is very positive and we would welcome conversations on how this can be used to help support hospitality businesses retain and attract workers. The measures to increase childcare provision will also allow parents who want to re-enter the workforce to do so, and hospitality is well-equipped to help with flexible roles. With hospitality’s tradition of innovation, the entrepreneurial start-up fund is also a good addition to drive business growth and development.

“However, it was disappointing not to hear any plans in the Programme for Government to address the multi-million pound hike in business rates facing hospitality businesses in April. Without action, hospitality’s potential to deliver economic growth, create jobs and help communities is seriously curtailed.

“We will continue to discuss with the Scottish Government the need for relief on business rates and reform of a system that sees our businesses paying higher levels of tax than their counterparts elsewhere in the UK. This is stifling investment and employment.

“While the commitment to implement the recommendations from the New Deal for Business Group is positive, the imminent challenges of Scottish Government regulation, the visitor levy, Deposit Return Scheme and proposals to restrict alcohol marketing and promotion remain on the near horizon.

“I would urge the Scottish Government to keep working with us to address these challenges, with a particular focus on business rates and reviewing unnecessary regulation.”


Category: News
Tags: First Minister, Leon Thompson, Programme for Government, UKHospitality (Scotland)