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Hospitality Sector: Scotland

Volume 737: debated on Thursday 14 September 2023

14. Whether she has had recent discussions with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) the Scottish Government on support for Scotland’s hospitality sector. (906384)

As the hon. Member will be aware, hospitality support is devolved. We continue to provide energy support via the energy bills discount scheme, benefiting hospitality businesses across the UK. I would be happy to meet her and any of her colleagues to see how we can help hospitality businesses across the whole UK.

That is excellent to hear, because the hospitality sector plays a crucial role in Scotland’s economy, but it has consistently been let down by the UK Government, who repeatedly fail to support the industry with the unique challenges it faces. Businesses across Scotland are grappling with inflationary pressures, labour and skill shortages and the ever-increasing complexity of trading rules with 27 countries we once traded with freely. Why will the Minister not accept that Brexit lies at the heart of these problems?

If the hon. Lady looks again, she will find that the Scottish Government lie at the heart of these problems. In England, all eligible businesses can get 75% relief on their rates, subject to a cap of £110,000, while in Scotland, rates relief is available only to small businesses and could be as low as between 25% and 0% for individual properties with rateable values from £15,000. There is far more support available for English businesses than for Scottish businesses. I think she should go back and look again at the facts.