ASSC: First Minister Humza Yousaf ignoring plight of Scottish Self-Catering Industry

Fiona Campbell (ASSC)

THE ASSOCIATION of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) has urged the First Minister Humza Yousaf to make good on his promise to meet with the self-catering industry before the sector is decimated by his own government’s short-term let regulations. 

The self-catering industry contributes around £1bn to the Scottish economy, and has been a longstanding presence in many Scottish communities, yet it has been treated as an afterthought with costly, poorly-designed and flawed legislation. 

Due to Ministerial and official indifference to the plight of small tourism operators, the trade body sought to bring the matter to the attention of the First Minister Humza Yousaf. He previously promised to meet the ASSC, a commitment made during the SNP leadership election campaign. 

However, the ASSC have not received a reply from Mr Yousaf when ASSC Chief Executive, Fiona Campbell, wished to take him up on the offer of a meeting.

With the presence of the Scottish Greens in the SNP-led administration, many businesses often thought they were at the back of the queue. Yet the promise of a ‘reset’ in relations, the introduction New Deal for Business, and the shelving of policies like DRS, Highly Protected Marine Areas and alcohol advertising, had raised hopes that short-term let licensing could be amended through genuine and meaningful engagement.

However, as all of the solutions put forward by industry were dismissed, and now the First Minister backtracking on his promise to meet, the government’s inaction and complacency risks jeopardising thousands of jobs and livelihoods in Scotland.

With the clock ticking down to the 1st October deadline for short-term let licensing applications, and small businesses across the country continuing to express alarm at what is to unfold, the self-catering industry is calling on the First Minister to meet without delay.

Fiona Campbell, Chief Executive of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, said:

“A commitment to a reset in relations and a New Deal for Business rings hollow when the Scottish Government brazenly ignores what is about to become the next major policy shambles. 

The self-catering sector faces an unrelenting regulatory juggernaut, with small businesses in our vital tourism sector, especially in rural areas, being clobbered once again. Long established self-catering units are already shutting their doors to guests – and more will follow. 

The First Minister appears to be asleep at the wheel when his government needs to urgently change direction to support the small businesses that cement our place as a world-leading tourist destination. The ASSC urges him to get round the table as soon as possible to avert disaster in one of Scotland’s most important industries.”

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