FOLLOWING The Chancellor’s Mini-Budget announcement this morning, Scottish Tourism Alliance Chief Executive, Marc Crothall has commented:
“Today’s statement recognises the scale of the economic crisis we face; while it provides a boost overall, more specific and immediate measures are needed for our tourism and hospitality sector.
There were positives in today’s statement, such as the move to introduce tax free shopping for overseas visitors, however, the measures announced today do not go anywhere near far enough in providing immediate or indeed long-term solutions to the cost of living and cost of doing business crisis.
Business rates relief and the lowering of VAT, which was expected and hoped for by many across the tourism and hospitality sectors in today’s announcement would have provided an immediate benefit to struggling businesses within the sector and vital supply chain, as we head into what will be our most challenging winter yet.
The STA has this week submitted its recommendations for the 2023-24 Scottish Budget which include a business rates holiday for at least 12 months, a commitment to restore the level playing field with England on the higher property business rate and to pause on new and impending regulation which will result in a direct cost and burden to businesses unless deemed essential. Measures under the Scottish Government’s control such as a tourism tax are an unnecessary risk at absolutely the wrong time.
I look forward to our continued discussions with the UK and Scottish Government over the coming weeks to highlight the immediate need for much greater short-term support from both governments for Scotland’s tourism and hospitality industry.”