Local pubs will be left significantly worse off than in England, due to the lack of business rate support in the Scottish Budget, according to UKHospitality Scotland.
New analysis shows the extent to which hospitality businesses are being financially disadvantaged by a lack of support by the Scottish Government. The figures will be highlighted in an evidence session to the Economy Committee today [Wednesday 24 January 2024].
Venues worse off
An average pub in Scotland will be £15,000 worse off than its equivalent in England, with a medium-sized hotel finding themselves £30,000 worse off. Larger businesses have been denied support worth up to £110,000, the payment cap.
In December, the Scottish Government chose not to introduce any form of business rates relief scheme for hospitality venues. This is in contrast to England, which extended its 75% business rates relief and resulted in millions of pounds being allocated to the Scottish Government.
According to The Fraser of Allander Institute at least 10,000 hospitality businesses are now operating without any financial assistance.
Leon Thompson, Executive Director of UKHospitality Scotland, said: “These figures clearly illustrate the real-life consequences of the Scottish Government’s decisions.
“In the current climate, it is almost impossible to fathom a local pub landlord or hotel manager being able to find thousands of pounds to pay a bumper business rates bill in April.
“Many are struggling to keep the lights on as it is, in the face of extortionate rises in energy, food, drink and wages.
“It is an active choice of the Scottish Government not to support these critical venues and leave them significantly worse off than their English counterparts, for the second year in a row.
“Our pubs, restaurants, hotels and cafes, to name a few, are pillars of our communities. They’re where we go to meet friends and family, celebrate an occasion or for some much-needed relaxation.
“There is still time for the Scottish Government to put right their widely-criticised decision not to provide business rates support this year.
“As they finalise this year’s Budget, I would urge them to use the funds available to them and introduce a 75% business rates relief scheme.”
£15,000Pubs are £15,000 worse off compared to England
£30,000Hotels are £30,000 worse off compared to England
£110,000Larger businesses are losing out on up to £110,000