Scottish drink drive legislation 'negatively impacting' trade

By MC Allegra FS

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Alcoholic beverage Minimum wage

Scottish drink drive legislation 'negatively impacting' trade
The change in drink driving legislation is negatively impacting Scotland’s hospitality trade according to a report from the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA).

The SLTA is calling on government in both Holyrood and Westminster for support to prevent pub closures and job losses.

The SLTA’s latest state of the nation survey of more than 600 outlets - representing over 10% of Scotland’s on-trade – shows drink driving regulations are having a significant negative impact, with 55% of all outlets surveyed showing a decline in like for like sales in 2015 vs 2014.

The impact extends beyond alcohol sales and is adversely impacting Scotland’s growing food sector, with 38% of outlets reporting a decline year on year, as people were simply avoiding visiting their outlets. The biggest impact was in countryside and tourist locations, where 39% of retailers were reporting a decline of over 10% year on year.

Paul Waterson, chief executive of the SLTA, said as well as the drink driving legislation, the proposed minimum wage legislation is adverse impact on retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers in Scotland’s hospitality sector. The organisation released details of its latest ‘state of the nation’ survey in which Waterson advises that the immediate impact extends beyond pubs. He said many of the businesses impacted are SMEs, who support employment, training and play a role in promoting tourism within Scotland.

Waterson said: “Our industry is totally committed to the responsible retailing of alcohol and the creation of a vibrant economy in Scotland, but we do not believe that the draconian penalties linked to new drink driving legislation are effective and proportionate.

"We also believe, that although our workers deserve wage increases, unless the Government makes concessions on our cost base, jobs will be lost, service levels will suffer and the number of closures will accelerate.”

Confidence amongst small and large business owners in the sector is also low, with only 18% saying they expect to see any growth in the rest of 2015.

These legislations are seen by survey respondents as the single biggest threat to their business – more than four times higher than any other threats such as competition or off trade pricing.

Related topics Legislation

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