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Scottish Government Emergency Budget Review: Short-Term Let Licensing and Local Visitor Levy

The Scottish Government has published their Emergency Budget Review following a Statement to Parliament by the Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

The review was established back in the summer to “assess any and all opportunities to redirect additional resources to those most in need, reduce the burdens on business and stimulate the Scottish economy” and review statement had been delayed as a result of events at Westminster following the UK Government’s mini-Budget and subsequent revision of fiscal plans.

In the lead-up to the Emergency Review, the Scottish Government committed to working with the business community to address challenges around increased costs and economic disruption which included reviewing a number of regulations/requirements that were expected to start soon.

Unfortunately, our proposals to pause the introduction of short-term let licensing, in the light of the cost of living crisis, was rejected; but we encouraged Scottish Ministers to meaningfully explore if there was scope to consider how any of these regulatory impacts could be moderated to try and help reduce the burden on business.

The Emergency Budget Review states that the Scottish Government will “work with local authorities and business stakeholders to encourage, where possible, consistency in the application of short terms lets, regulations and associated fees.” The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers will work tirelessly to keep the government to their word, just as we are to supporting our members navigate through the legislation.

In relation to another regulatory challenge, the Emergency Budget Review also states that the Scottish Government will continue to engage with businesses and other stakeholders on legislative proposals for a Local Visitor Levy (aka the tourist tax). In line with the existing parliamentary timetable and plans, these proposals will not be fully implemented until at least 2026. However, the ASSC has a number of concerns about plans for a tourist tax at the present time and will endeavour to keep our members informed of any developments.

The Statement to Parliament by the Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP can be accessed here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/emergency-budget-review-ministerial-statement/

The outcome of the Emergency Budget Review 2022 to 2023 can be read in full here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/emergency-budget-review-2022-23/

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