Support Urged for Scottish Hospitality Sector

UKHospitality Scotland has urged the Scottish Government to put in place business rates support at its Budget in December.

The call comes as the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that inflation has fallen to 4.6 percent.

Leon Thompson, UKHospitality Executive Director in Scotland, said that inflation moving in the right direction is positive for the economy, but the lasting impact of record inflation over the past year persists for hospitality businesses.

UKHospitality Scotland has continued to make representations to the Scottish Government about the myriad of costs that continue to impact hospitality businesses, particularly energy costs.

These issues have been acted upon by the Scottish Government, with the Energy Minister Gillian Martin MSP writing to Amanda Solloway MP, the Energy Minister in the UK Government, calling for more support for energy-intensive sectors like hospitality.

“Energy costs, in particular, continue to be a significant drag on venues. I’m pleased Gillian Martin, the Energy Minister, has listened to our concerns and made representations today to her counterpart in London about the need for further support for energy-intensive sectors like hospitality,” Thompson said.

In line with UKHospitality’s campaigning with the UK Government, the association has continued to urge the Scottish Government to introduce support measures to reduce the burden of business rates for the sector.

“The impact of business rates remains one of the biggest concerns for venues across Scotland. Unlike in England and Wales, businesses here have suffered without any rates relief and, in many cases, have seen their rates continue to increase," said Thompson.

“We hope the UK Government takes action on business rates at the Autumn Statement, but, regardless of the outcome in Westminster, there simply has to be rates support for Scottish businesses this year. Without it, closures will continue, and businesses will have no choice but to increase prices for customers – a move that will only fuel inflation. The Scottish Government has made much of its reset with businesses, and now is the time to prove those credentials and act where it matters most – on business rates."