I would like to wish all of our members, supporters, readers and everyone involved in the licensed trade a happy and prosperous holiday season – and a healthy and improving horizon in the coming year.
My 12 days of Christmas gifts would be:
- VAT reduced to 9% on accommodation and food
- Develop a recognised apprenticeship for the on-trade, leading to a degree in hospitality
- No tourist tax
- No calorie counting or calorie capping on menus
- A complete review of the methodology used to calculate commercial rates for the licensed trade. This follows the SLTA’s success in convincing the Scottish Government to cap the rise in commercial rates for the hospitality sector to 12.5%, saving the industry £40 million per year
- Bring back improvement grants for small business
- The introduction of a deposit return scheme (DRS) is inevitable so make it UK-wide and exclude venues that have “non-conventional retail transactions” such as pubs, bars and hotels where drinks containers are in effect being “loaned”
- Resolve the issues for tied house tenants
- The Government to acknowledge that there is not just a skills shortage, there’s a general labour shortage – and allow the tourism industry to easily recruit foreign workers post-Brexit
- Cap weekly hours in small businesses for owners to 70 hours
- Make natural gas available in all rural areas of Scotland
- Finally – and most of all – at this Christmas time of contemplation, world peace. Imagine a tourist sector with world peace
The Scottish licensed trade has achieved much in the last year. One of the great changes from my point of view is that all of the associations and groups involved in the tourist and licensed trade are working more closely together, and with a common aim.
Training and improvement in training will be a highlight in the coming year.
Be proud of working in the hospitality sector. A future is available all round the globe, as well as at home.