'Additional action still needed' as Scottish Government unveils new financial package

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

'Additional action still needed' as Scottish Government unveils new financial package

Related tags Scotland ukhospitality Coronavirus Government spending

UKHospitality Scotland has warned that longer-term help will be necessary if businesses are to weather the winter Covid crisis, after the Scottish Government unveiled a further £185m of support.

Yesterday (9 November), Scotland’s Finance Secretary told MSPs that the funding will be allocated on a 'sector by sector basis so that it is appropriately targeted', although the money won't be available until January.

Hospitality businesses will also be offered one-off payments of either £2,000 or £3,000 in January to help them mitigate the traditional post-Christmas dip in demand.

A further £300m in funding already passed onto the Scottish Government from Westminster will be held back as 'contingency'.

Responding to the announcement, UKHospitality Scotland acknowledged the new package of support for businesses but reiterated that longer-term action will be needed to ensure the survival of the sector.

“The additional support from the Scottish Government will provide much-needed support for businesses that are being seriously hard-pressed at the minute," said executive director Willie Macleod.

"We appreciate that resources are finite and that the Scottish Government has acknowledged the fact that we are being hit harder than any other sector.

“We look forward to working with them to quickly reach an agreement as to how these funds can be best used to support our industry.

"These are businesses that are in many cases, barely clinging on, piling up huge debts and struggling to meet operating costs. Restrictions are making it increasingly difficult for businesses to trade at what should be the busiest time of the year. In a few short weeks’ time we will be into the New Year and a traditionally quiet period for our businesses. We will need to ensure that support is delivered where it is needed most.

“Beyond that, if we expect to see hospitality businesses trade themselves out of trouble and back into a position to begin rebuilding the economy, we will need longer term action. 

"The business rates holiday for the sector must be extended along with the VAT cut. The Scottish Government must also make sure that it provides the resources to enable the recommendations of the Scottish Tourism Recovery Taskforce to be implemented in full."

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