The Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA) has responded to the conclusion of the Barclay Review into business rates saying the proposals do not go far enough and greater support for the pub industry is still needed.
The SBPA also revealed its own analysis showing some astounding increases to average rates bills over the next five years.
SBPA president, Brian Davidson, said: “The SBPA welcomes the conclusion of the Barclay review and its proposals, which should improve the situation; however, it still falls short of the reforms needed by our nation’s pubs.
“The introduction of a business growth accelerator, expansion of the Fresh Start scheme, reduction of the large business supplement and a review of the Small Business Scheme are all steps in the right direction and we would urge the Scottish Government to move forward as quickly as possible.
“However, there remains a need for a new approach for Scotland’s licensed premises, which already suffer from a hugely unfair tax burden. While the 12.5% cap for the hospitality sector and the North East has shielded our sector this year, pub operators remain uncertain of what their bills will be moving forward and only have until the end of September to appeal.”
He added: “Furthermore, SBPA analysis of the 2017 revaluation shows that for many pubs, business rates remain a ticking time bomb, with bills in the Lothians due to increase by 50.8%, 59.2% in Central Scotland and a massive 64.3% in Orkney and Shetland.
“These increases will be unsustainable for many pubs and underline the need for more reform, particularly on how the hospitality sector is evaluated. We would urge the Scottish Government to move forward as quickly as possible and look at further support for our industry.”