STA and Government
STA requests immediate additional measures from Scottish Government to support industry. The immediate asks which have come through consultation with all types of business across the sector are set out below;
Summary of the STA’s immediate asks
- Scrapping of all business rates/local taxes for all travel and tourism businesses for 2020.
- Deferring all corporation tax, VAT, PAYE and other tax payments for 12 months.
- Significant emergency loan funding for all affected businesses (as Germany is already doing).
- Paying % of the lost wages of employees on reduced time or temporary layoffs (As Germany & Denmark are doing)
- Providing full benefits and support to all staff who are temporarily made redundant immediately.
- Suspending the requirement for tour operators to refund customers who cannot travel (this affects the entire supply chain).
- Requiring the banks and landlords to offer all affected employees and businesses repayment holidays of up to 12 months on mortgages, loans, rent etc. – maybe to ease with Scot Govt guarantees
- Use the Scottish Investment Bank to support now
- Financial contribution from OTAs
- Scottish Government to abandon introduction of TVL once and for all
- Delay introduction of any and all new business regulations until impact of CV19 fully understood and dealt with
- Encouraging suppliers, such as utilities providers, to offer deferred payments terms to hospitality businesses;
- Look at all core imposed costs into business that have continued to rise and reverse out/stop
- Push the banks hard to be supportive of hospitality businesses experiencing unexpected trading difficulties and provide Scottish Government guarantee
- Commercial landlords must be encouraged to defer rent payments with Government guarantees as necessary
- Establish a Scottish Government underwritten business support fund to provide emergency cash flow via zero-interest loans and non-repayable grants
- Commit to review business rates on similar terms to proposed UK Government review
- Significant additional resources to VisitScotland to promote Scotland as a destination (careful timing of campaigns)
- Although a reserved matter, Scottish Government to press UK Government for reduction in tourism and hospitality VAT to (5%) to stimulate demand and support recovery