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    Retailer body slams Yousaf as he questions compensation over delayed DRS

    Photo Fraser Bremner - Pool/Getty Images

    A leading Scottish retailer body has slammed first minister Humza Yousaf for denying compensation after the deposit return scheme was delayed for a fourth time.  

    Businesses, including retailers as well as soft drink firms, are demanding compensation after it was announced this week that the scheme would be delayed until 2025 at the earliest.  

    However, Yousaf told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg Show that he didn’t think that the Scottish Government would have to compensate businesses. 

    “We don’t believe there’s a case for the Scottish Government to need to compensate because the action we’ve had to take is because of that 11th hour, last-minute intervention from the UK Government, which has meant that a Scottish scheme, unfortunately, isn’t viable,” he said.  

    Fed’s national deputy vice president Mo Razzaq has strongly criticised Yousaf’s statement that there is “no case” for compensation over the deposit return scheme.  

    “How can the Scottish government claim that there is no case to answer?  It told us repeatedly to get ready for this scheme. Shopkeepers who took out leasing contracts are paying almost £4,000 a year for now-redundant machines to process returned bottles and cans.  

    “Some retailers have also paid thousands for structures to house the machines outside or shop fitting to accommodate them inside. This is money they can ill-afford. The number of store closures in towns and villages across Scotland confirms small shops have a fragile economic existence.  

    “The Scottish government’s claim to seek an improved relationship with business, will have faint credibility if it seeks to evade paying compensation,” he said.  

    The DRS would have seen an extra 20p added onto drinks containers, which would be refunded when the container is returned to a retailer or a hospitality venue.  

    However, Scotland needed an exemption from the UK-wide Internal Market Act before it was able to introduce its own DRS – an exemption the UK Government said would only be granted if the scheme does not include glass.

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