UKHospitality has called on the Finance Secretary Derek Mackay to unleash hospitality’s potential through a targeted programme of action in the upcoming Budget.
In its Budget submission, UKHospitality is urging the Scottish Government to support the thousands of hospitality businesses across Scotland with measures that help unlock economic growth, boost workforce skills and opportunities and bring communities together up and down the country.
The submission calls for action in the following policy areas:
- Maintain and cut the national poundage, introducing reliefs for high street businesses
- Build on the Barclay review with a shift away from tax on property, and address the burden of business taxation on hospitality in Scotland prior to the 2022 revaluation
- Lobby the UK Government to reform employer NICs, as advocated by the SNP manifesto. This will support businesses to pay higher wages
- Work with hospitality and tourism businesses to lower tourism VAT to 5%, promoting tourism and supporting growth and jobs
- Abandon plans to devolve the ability to levy a tourist tax to local authorities
- Make vital improvements to the apprenticeship system to allow levy payers greater control of their funds and deliver greater alignment between the rest of the UK and Scotland.
UKHospitality Executive Director, Willie Macleod (pictured) said, “The upcoming Budget is a key moment for the Scottish Government to demonstrate its commitment to the sector and to recognise that we are a serious player and a powerful driver for positive economic growth.
“The hospitality sector in Scotland has a bold and positive outlook and has ambitions to grow its role in the economy, by generating growth and providing more and better jobs.
“Our message remains simple, clear and consistent: unleash hospitality’s potential and it will unleash Scotland’s potential. With the right stable and supportive tax and regulatory framework we can boost employment, skills and career opportunities, secure investment in regeneration and unlock the value of our social capital.”