Shona Robison has been urged to copy Jeremy Hunt's decision to extend business rates relief for hospitality firms. 

In his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor confirmed that the 75% discount — introduced in the wake of the pandemic — would be extended for a further 12 months. 

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The discount allows businesses in England and Wales to claim relief up to £110,000, saving the average pub £12,800 a year.

However, the Scottish Government has ultimate responsibility for setting business rates policy north of the border.

While 100% relief was initially brought in for Scottish hospitality businesses by the then finance secretary Kate Forbes for the whole of the 2020/21 financial year, it dropped to 50% for the first three months of the 2022/23 fiscal year before ending completely.

Paul Togneri of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) said he hoped Ms Robison would use the Barnett Consequentials from Mr Hunt's Autum Statement to bring some form of rates relief back and end the disparity. 

He said: “The UK Government have listened to industry and backed business with this Autumn Statement, freezing beer duty, freezing the small business rates multiplier, and extending 75% business rates relief. The Scottish Government must now do the same.

“Scottish pubs and bars have been at a competitive disadvantage since business rates relief was removed in Scotland, costing the sector millions and putting businesses at Scotland at a competitive disadvantage when attracting investment.

“This is especially critical now, given the National Living Wage will increase to bring significant extra costs to the sector.

“The Barnett consequentials triggered by the 75% business rates discount in England must be used to end the disparity in Scotland, and to ensure that our much-loved pubs and bars are able to continue to be a powerhouse of the Scottish economy.

“Anything less will be met with dismay by pub operators, who collectively employ over 45,000 people in the country.”

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The calls were echoed by Stephen Montgomery, the director of the Scottish Hospitality Group. He said there were now "just four weeks to save Scottish hospitality."

"The support announced for the hospitality industry by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement is welcome and gives English and Welsh pubs, hotels and restaurants a fighting chance at survival.

"The Scottish Government must now match this support for Scotland’s much-loved hospitality businesses. The survival of our jobs, our livelihoods and local venues across Scotland are on the line and depend on emergency support. "

Mark Davyd, CEO, Music Venue Trust said Scotland's Grassroots Music Venues were "in crisis, under extraordinary financial pressures and facing an uncertain future."

He added: "The closure of a single venue represents a huge loss to the local community, to the music sector, and to the future of Scottish talent.

"Shona Robison and [Culture minister] Christina McKelvie have a real opportunity to get behind the grassroots live sector by enacting a matching Business Rate relief for Scotland's music venues from 1 April 2024."

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The Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Scotland Policy Chair, Andrew McRae said the measure was "great news for our fellow small business owners south of the border in these hard-pressed sectors."

"They’ll continue to see their business rates reduced by 75%. The particular inflationary and other economic challenges these firms continue to face underlines the case for the reintroduction of similar reliefs in Scotland, where they’ve not been available since July 2022. 

"We’ll be pressing this case with the Scottish Finance Secretary as she draws up next month’s Scottish Budget.”

The Scottish Government has been approached for comment.