Changes to business rates in Scotland and Wales have been welcomed by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR).
Scottish Finance Minister Derek Mackay proposed Barclay Review recommendations such as the move to the lower Consumer Price Index (CPI) instead of the Retail Price Index (RPI) in the draft budget he announced in the Scottish Parliament today.
The ALMR's chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "The impact of business rates in the hospitality sector cannot be sustained, so this package of measures is good news for Scottish pubs, restaurants and clubs… larger businesses will benefit from a cut in the supplementary charge for large business premises, in line with England.
"Scotland is leading the way on business rates but there is still a real urgency for England and Wales to undertake root and branch reform of their systems, to deliver fairness to bricks and mortar businesses and hospitality operators that are among the worst hit."
However, Nicholls did welcome the a new small business rate relief scheme confirmed for Wales, which she said would "provide a boost to hospitality businesses in Wales", particularly small and medium-sized businesses.
As part of the scheme, from April 2018 companies will only be able to claim business rate relief on two properties for each local authority, which will limit how much chains can claim, and is hoped to allow the Government to support smaller businesses with relief more effectively.
Nicholls said: "This is a positive and pragmatic move from the Welsh Government, but it needs to be followed by action by the respective governments across the UK to provide the wholesale reform that was promised, and that eating and drinking out venues desperately need."
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