Business rates relief extended for Scottish hospitality

Scottish Licensed Trade Association Business Rate Relief
Candlemaker Row Street, Edinburgh. Photo: iStock

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) welcomed this afternoon’s (9) announcement by Kate Forbes MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, that the licensed trade and hospitality businesses will continue to benefit from business rates relief.

While recognising that Scottish businesses have benefited more in rates relief than any other country within the UK over the last two years, the SLTA said that the announcement of 50 per cent rates relief for the first three months of the 2022/23 financial year and capped at £27,500 per ratepayer did not go far enough to ensure that businesses across the sector, from pubs, bars and nightclubs to restaurants and coffee shops, have a fighting chance to continue their long recovery from the pandemic.

“Just when hospitality businesses were beginning to get back on their feet along comes the Omicron variant to throw a spanner in the works so the news in today’s Scottish Budget is a welcome step towards aiding our recovery, but more targeted support will be needed,” said Colin Wilkinson, SLTA managing director.

“As we have previously pointed out, there is an urgent need for a change to the current system of business rates as it is clear that the current system penalises hospitality businesses and is no longer fit for purpose in a world of online sales and the advantages that some sectors, supermarkets for example, have enjoyed during the lockdowns and periods of restricted opening for hospitality.”