News / Press release / Business operations

Scotland’s New Deal for Business recommendations – our response


Our Executive Director Leon Thompson was involved in working groups on both regulatory review and non-domestic rates.

Among the recommendations that are relevant to hospitality are:

  1. 1

    Keeping all non-domestic rates policy reforms under review to ensure that the system delivers the most competitive environment to do business.

  2. 2

    Reviewing the design of the administrative and digital processes of the non-domestic rates system to ensure a more productive and efficient environment.

  3. 3

    Setting up a new independent Regulatory Review Group to work with industry and government on a renewed remit.

Our response

Leon said: “It’s been refreshing to see such renewed engagement with the business community by the Scottish Government in recent months and many of the recommendations published today underscore this positive approach.

“Moving forward with an independent review board to oversee regulations is significant.

It’s my hope that this review board will result in better regulation for hospitality businesses and will avoid the myriad of issues we experienced with the Deposit Return Scheme.

“There has already been evidence of this new approach in the Scottish Government’s engagement with hospitality on the Visitor Levy. However, concerns remain on plans for charges on single use cups and restrictions to alcohol promotion and marketing.

“I’m pleased UKHospitality Scotland has been able to feed in directly on non-domestic rates, particularly as the system has not been fit for purpose for decades now. Recommendations to keep reforms to non-domestic rates under review is a good start but we need to see reform actively implemented, to bring the system up to speed with the modern economy. Only by doing that can we unlock vital additional investment from our businesses.

“I’m hopeful that this level of engagement with the hospitality sector will continue and that together we can realise the potential hospitality offers in terms of economic growth, job creation and rejuvenating local communities and high streets.”