The boss of a popular Aberdeen hotel has hit out at the Scottish Government for failing to follow Westminster's lead on rates relief for hospitality businesses on mainland Scotland.

Scottish pubs are closing at double the rate of those south of the border, which last month had 75% rates relief extended in Jeremy Hunt's autumn budget.

But Shona Robison failed to take Hunt's lead in her statement on Tuesday.

The finance minister announced a freeze to rates for premises valued less than £51,000, and 100% relief has been offered to hospitality businesses on Scotland's islands.

'Does the Scottish Government recognise the value of tourism in Scotland?'

Speaking to the Press & Journal, Stephen Gow, manager of the Chester Hotel in Aberdeen, has questioned whether Holyrood values the tourism sector.

He said: "Today’s Scottish budget announcement means that only hospitality businesses in the islands are going to be given 100% relief.

"There is no relief for hospitality business in mainland Scotland.

"Whilst at the same time hospitality businesses in England continue to get relief of up to 75% to a maximum of £110,000.

"Giving such an advantage to hospitality businesses based south of the border, shows that the Scottish government does not recognise the issues and pressures that businesses currently face with food cost inflation, energy bills and increased staff costs.

"The continuing cost pressures will lead to lower profits which will inevitably reduce long term capital expenditure making Scotland a less attractive place to visit and invest in.

"Does the Scottish Government recognise the value of tourism in Scotland?"

Stephen Montgomery, director of the Scottish Hospitality Group, said: "Unless a hospitality business is located on the islands, this budget offers no new support to Scottish hospitality to survive the unprecedented challenge of rising costs, inflation, and the legacy of the pandemic.

"The very real implication is that many Scottish hospitality businesses will struggle to survive, and customers will see prices increase."

More like this…

View all