2024-25 Scottish Budget: No Relief for Hospitality Businesses

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Yesterday at Holyrood, the unchanged Scottish Budget for 2024-25 was passed, leaving hospitality businesses in Scotland facing a disadvantage

With England introducing a 75% business rates relief in November 2023, Scottish hospitality owners and trade bodies had hoped for a reconsideration of Scotland's stance.

The Scottish Budget remaining untouched is the most evident indication so far that the Scottish Government has forsaken its business reconciliation efforts. (Leon Thompson)

In an emergency plea made public in December 2023, the SBPA and SLTA asked for backing due to the announcement that English organizations would benefit from reduced rates.

Those pubs and bars outside Scotland benefited from this relief in 2023, providing some respite for businesses grappling with escalating overheads and costs.

Due to the Scottish government's refusal to transmit the decrease, there has been a considerable rise in enduring shutdowns within the industry.

The rate of closure in Scotland accelerated at twice the rate compared to England (1.7% vs 0.75%) as a result.

The SBPA and SLTA have since urged the Scottish government to pass on funding meant for Scottish hospitality businesses that were not provided with the rates relief last year.

"The failure to pass on a rates relief last year was a devastating blow for Scotland's pubs and bars and has resulted in a record number of permanent closures." - The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) and the Scottish Licensed Trade

Association (SLTA).

In their joint statement, they lamented, "The failure to pass on a rates relief last year was a devastating blow for Scotland's pubs and bars, resulting in an unprecedented number of permanent closures."