Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Scottish pubs £15k worse off than English equivalents

Published:  24 January, 2024

New analysis by UKHospitality Scotland has revealed the financial disparity between sites in England and Scotland following the Scottish government's decision not to implement business rates support this year for venues. 

The figures, which will be highlighted in an evidence session to the Economy Committee today (24 January), suggest an average pub in Scotland is £15,000 worse off than its equivalent in England, while medium-sized hotels are reportedly £30,000 worse off without the relief. Meanwhile, larger businesses have been denied support worth up to £110,000 – the payment cap for businesses in England.

In December, the Scottish government chose not to introduce any form of business rates relief scheme for hospitality venues. This was in contrast to England, which extended its 75% business rates relief.

According to The Fraser of Allander Institute, at least 10,000 hospitality businesses are now operating without any financial assistance north of the border.

Leon Thompson, executive director of UKHospitality Scotland, said: “These figures clearly illustrate the real-life consequences of the Scottish Government’s decisions.

“In the current climate, it is almost impossible to fathom a local pub landlord or hotel manager being able to find thousands of pounds to pay a bumper business rates bill in April. Many are struggling to keep the lights on as it is, in the face of extortionate rises in energy, food, drink and wages.

“It is an active choice of the Scottish government not to support these critical venues and leave them significantly worse off than their English counterparts, for the second year in a row.”

Thompson added: “There is still time for the Scottish government to put right their widely-criticised decision not to provide business rates support this year. As they finalise this year’s Budget, I would urge them to use the funds available to them and introduce a 75% business rates relief scheme.”

The date of the Spring Budget has been set as 6 March 2024.