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    Fond farewell from SLTA to Scot First Minister Humza Yousaf

    Photo Fraser Bremner - Pool/Getty Images

    “We wish Humza Yousaf all the very best for the future and what comes next in his political career, and we look forward to working with his successor and indeed Mr Yousaf until that successor is in post,” said Colin Wilkinson, SLTA managing director.

    “We initially welcomed Mr Yousaf’s pledge to ‘reset’ the Scottish Government’s relationship with business in the wake of turmoil caused by the Covid pandemic, Brexit and misplaced legislation when he was named as Scotland’s new First Minister just over a year ago, in March 2023.

    “However, that early enthusiasm clearly waned as hospitality businesses and the licensed trade have continued to struggle since his arrival in Bute House and there appears to have been no real understanding – or willingness to understand – the myriad problems and challenges facing what is one of the biggest employers in Scotland.

    “One of the key asks of the new regime at Holyrood is to work with us to find a meaningful solution to change the current non-domestic rates system which is hugely outdated and in need of reform.

    “And while we accept that VAT is not a devolved issue, a reduction in VAT would be a welcome move for everyone involved in hospitality and the licensed trade – we hope that Holyrood and Westminster can discuss this as an urgent measure to help businesses in this important sector given our major contribution to Scotland’s economy and its important tourism industry.

    “We urge Mr Yousaf’s successor to pick up on his pledge to work with the business community and implement an urgent reset in the relationship between the Scottish Government and businesses.”

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