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News & Press: General

Local setting of business rates not the answer to a broken system, says UKHospitality

28 November 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Pernille Thomsen
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Responding to yesterday’s vote in the Scottish Parliament to give local authorities powers to set business rates levels, Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality has responded:


“Business rates are already a scourge for high street businesses across Scotland, directly leading to business closures and the erosion of local communities. Hospitality is the hardest hit sector and any increases will hit Scotland’s pubs, hotels and restaurants the hardest.


Devolving powers to local authorities, who are desperate for any extra tax revenue, is wrong-headed and will inevitably lead to higher costs for local businesses.


"The intention of the Barclay Review was to make the system fairer and more consistent. This amendment flies in the face of those objectives. Scottish Parliamentarians should be looking at ways to support business as a creator of jobs through cutting punitive business rates, rather than saddling them with even more cost and complexity.


"We urge everyone involved to work to overturn this amendment and concentrate on reducing the burden of tax on Scotland’s hospitality businesses.”


Notes to editors 

  • UKHospitality is the trade body representing the UK’s hospitality sector, established following a merger approved in February 2018 between the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA)
  • UKHospitality is the authoritative voice for over 700 companies, operating around 65,000 venues in a sector that employs 3.2 million people
  • The body speaks on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out-of-home’ businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to niche groups and independent single-site operators
  • For the first time, the sector has a single voice bringing together businesses from all aspects of hospitality; coffee shops, hotels, serviced apartments, pubs, restaurants, leisure parks, nightclubs, contract caterers, entertainment, stadia and visitor attractions
  • Engaging with government, the media and the public, UKHospitality works to develop a robust case on how to unlock the industry’s full potential as the biggest engine for growth in the economy and ensure that the industry’s needs are effectively represented
  • The sector creates £130bn in economic activity and generates £39bn of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services
  • Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP
  • Hospitality is the 3rd largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined.

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