B&B Funding Exclusion

I appreciate the concerns that business owners at present feel, and I support their calls for more actions from the Scottish Government. That is why in our 2021 election manifesto we championed the 100% rates relief for hospitality during the pandemic, and continue to push for at least 75% rates relief for the year 2022/3. The Scottish Conservatives consider the exclusion of B&Bs from this tranche of funding an insult to Scotland’s hard-pressed B&B and guesthouse owners.

Like the rest of the hospitality sector, they have taken an enormous financial hit as a result of the Scottish Government’s Covid restrictions – and a recent survey by the Scottish Tourism Alliance revealed that one in three businesses expect to fail this year.

However, the power the Scottish Conservatives have to make these changes in opposition are limited, as is the power of the UK Government to interfere in devolved matters. Meanwhile, the SNP failed to deliver much of it’s pandemic support for business, and provided a cluttered landscape of different funds and schemes, making it difficult even for businesses which are eligible for it to get support from the latest support funding from the Scottish Government. 

The Scottish Conservatives support small businesses, especially those which have been worst affected by pandemic restrictions, like hospitality, and have policies which would support them during Scotland’s recovery. While we managed to secure a U-turn from the SNP in April 2020 over business support from the Scottish Government, there is only so much we can do in opposition. Equally, the UK Government cannot act on devolved matters, especially with an intransigent Scottish Government unwilling to work with the UK Government. However, we believe that the SNP must reverse their unfair decision to exclude B&B and guesthouse owners from Covid compensation funding.