The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) has welcomed today’s announcement by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes that the Scottish Government will extend 100% non-domestic rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure for at least the first three months of the new financial year.

But the trade body has warned that it doesn’t go far enough. Colin Wilkinson, SLTA managing director, said: “Today’s announcement is good news, as is the promise of further ongoing business support – it gives us a much-needed stay of execution. The reduction in the poundage rate, from 49.8 pence to 49 pence – is also very welcomed.

“However, further support from the Westminster Government is crucial and our hope is that UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak steps up to the mark by extending the current furlough scheme, committing to retain the commercial rates relief and the temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT for hospitality beyond March 31 and well in to 2022.

“Our sector is battered and bruised – and the sooner both the Scottish and UK Governments can provide clarity on support and an indication of an exit strategy out of this pandemic the better.

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