Earlier today the UK Chancellor delivered a Mini-Budget Statement and a copy of this can be found here.
The SLTA released the following statement in response:-
The Chancellor’s mini-Budget was more about what was left out rather than what was included, the SLTA (Scottish Licensed Trade Association) has said.
In responding to the Mini-Budget statement Colin Wilkinson, SLTA managing director said:-
“Two of the biggest concerns for the hospitality sector – 20% VAT rate and business rates did not even get a mention.
The hospitality sector has been pushing for a permanent reduction in VAT, similar to those introduced during the pandemic, to bring us in line with our European competitors and for industry support to be given through rates relief or cancellation of rates for the next year. Both of these pleas have simply been ignored.
We are now in a recession, have the lowest consumer confidence rates since records began and interest rates continue to rise. Coupled with the cost-of-living crisis and crippling energy prices, there is not much to cheer about despite the cap on wholesale energy prices.
On energy costs, let’s not forget that businesses have been burdened with highly inflated energy prices for months now. Sadly, the damage has already been done to many businesses which have already shut their doors permanently or are planning to close down over the winter period or reduce their operating hours.
This should have been a priority for Westminster months ago when experts were ringing alarm bells and warning of the juggernaut that was on its way.”
Mr Wilkinson said that while the cancellation of the increase in Corporation Tax is welcome, it will only benefit those who are making a profit.
He added: “A recent survey by the Night Time Industries Association highlighted that nearly 50% of night-time businesses are barely breaking even and a further 20% stated they’re losing money.
“All help is, of course, welcome but the Chancellor has only given SMEs and independent operators yet another sticking plaster to fix a broken leg.”