The announcement by UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlining measures to address the rising cost of living is good news for struggling families but does nothing for hard-pressed businesses.
Colin Wilkinson, managing director of the SLTA (Scottish Licensed Trade Association), said: “Businesses across the country are only just starting to get back on their feet after enforced closures and restrictions during the pandemic and the spiralling cost-of-living crisis is already having an impact on licensed hospitality and many other sectors.
“Add to the mix the ScotRail situation with a third of services being cut and the ongoing challenges of staff shortages, supply issues, and new legislative measures that have been on hold for the last two years now looming – for example the deposit return scheme (DRS) and the business rates review – and businesses are in a perilous situation.
“Our colleagues at the Night Time Industries Association warned this week that cuts to rail services will have an adverse effect on hospitality and events as people will be unable to get home at night.
“Our hope today was that the Chancellor would recognise these issues and announce some measures to help struggling businesses and stave off the very real threat of ‘tumbleweed’ city and town centres.
“With the key summer tourist season fast approaching it is more important than ever that Scotland has a reliable and efficient train service along with late-night public transport provision.”