Category Archives: Press Release

SBPA welcomes Barclay review but calls for further action

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The Scottish Beer & 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 their analysis showing some astounding increases to the average rates bill over the next five years.

Commenting, 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.

“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 underlines 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.”

SBPA comments on Labour support for Bibby Bill


Commenting on Scottish Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale’s support for Neil Bibby’s members bill, Brigid Simmonds Chief Executive of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, said:

“We welcome Mr Bibby’s interest in the industry but this bill would actually do the opposite of what he is setting-out to achieve.

“The pub market in Scotland is completely different to other parts of the UK, with only 17% of pubs under a tied arrangement here, compared to 40% in the UK as a whole. It simply doesn’t work to compare like-for-like in this case. Furthermore, we have already put in place a system of self-regulation in Scotland which safeguards tenants.

“Second, tied-pubs offer greater choice of beers than pubs free-of-tie; while tied-pubs average ten draught lines, free-of-tie pubs only offer eight and tied-pubs offer double the amount of cask ale.

“Finally, the tied-pub models offers unrivaled entrepreneurship opportunities, jobs and investment. In the last two years alone £20 million has been spent by pub companies and brewers investing in pubs in Scotland.

“If successful, this bill will hurt small business owners, offer fewer choices for consumers and ultimately cost jobs.

“We would therefore urge Scottish Labour to rethink their support for these ill-conceived plans and instead pressure the government into meaningful action to support Scotland’s pubs.”