Business leaders have raised a unified voice over easing cost-of-living tax burdens ahead of this week's Scottish budget.

The Scottish Beer and Pub Association, Scottish Licensed Trade Association, and UKHospitality Scotland joined CBI Scotland and the Scottish Retail Consortium in calling for a moratorium on business rates rises. Similar moves have been taken in England and Wales.

The hospitality representatives said: “Not only must the Cabinet Secretary [John Swinney] commit to matching a freeze on the UBR in Scotland, but he must also match the support for the sector in England and Wales, where a 75% rates relief package will be in place.

"The sector desperately needs this to survive, to continue to provide employment for staff and remain competitive with our neighbours.

“Every day is a challenge for our pubs and bars who have worked very hard post-Covid and Brexit to showcase Scotland’s hospitality industry, but we need more help to protect the jobs that outlets provide directly and the associated jobs in the wholesaling, brewing/distilling and food-producing sectors.”

CBI Scotland also called for the Scottish Government to follow the Welsh and UK Government’s lead and freeze business rates in Thursday’s Scottish budget.

Mags Simpson, deputy director of policy, CBI Scotland, said: “Many Scottish firms are on a cliff edge with business rates set to spiral next April. High levels of inflation mean that the Uniform Business Rate could go up by as much as 10% if the issue is ignored in this week’s Scottish budget. 

“Business rates, as a tax on property values rather than profits, bear no relation to a firm’s ability to pay and firms are already struggling with high energy costs and wages.

“Scottish firms should not be left at a disadvantage to their competitors in England and Wales.”

OBR warns squeezing the rich could backfire on Swinney

DEMANDS to soak the rich in this year’s Scottish budget could backfire as top earners switch their residence to England and take their tax revenue with them, MPs have heard.

Andy King, of the UK watchdog the Office for Budget Responsibility, told Holyrood’s finance committee the risks around such behaviour could be “quite large”.

Plan for hundreds of homes on Glasgow's Clydeside wins approval

A PROPOSAL to build 730 homes on a vacant site on the Glasgow waterfront has received planning permission.

Glasgow City Council has given the green light to proposals from Moda Living and GDRI – a joint venture between developer and investor, Osborne + Co, and MRP, the development and investment arm of McAleer & Rushe – that would transform a four-acre brownfield site at Lancefield Quay. The land has been vacant since 2007.

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