SBPA reacts to Programme for Government

The CEO of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has made comment on the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2022-23.

Nichola Sturegon delivered the annual Programme for Government today, which sets out the actions government will take in the coming year and beyond. It includes the legislative programme for the next parliamentary year to drive forward change.

Emma McClarkin OBE said, “We welcome the Scottish Government’s acknowledgement of the cost of doing business and the existing package of financial reliefs, but the announcements of potential restrictions on advertising for producers, and the introduction of a tourist tax is not helpful at this time.

“It is crucial now, more than it ever was before, that we keep Scotland competitive and an attractive place for new investment. The hospitality sector was only just starting the recovery from the pandemic, with a survey at the start of summer showing 50% of all tourist businesses had fewer bookings with lesser spend in comparison to 2019.

'Since then, inflation and energy prices have skyrocketed, completely wiping out any profit margin and make operating these businesses unviable without some form of energy cap and additional support.

“Thousands of businesses are on the cliff edge and the Scottish Government can help pull them back by delaying any plans which would bring added costs for businesses or be a detriment to investment.'

Emma closed, 'There must also be real consideration of a further reduction in the disproportionate business rates bills faced by hospitality sector. This would support our sector, the thousands of jobs at stake, and keep businesses afloat at this difficult time.”