- Published on Wednesday, 07 March 2012 15:36
Commenting on SGF research which has found a catalogue of serious problems with the administration of the alcohol licensing regime SGF Chief Executive, John Drummond, said:
“In 2010 the Regulatory Review Group found a litany of problems with how local authorities and licensing boards were discharging their duties and obligations under the 2005 Licensing Act.
“Amongst its findings the group stated that the costs of selling alcohol had become prohibitively more expensive and that too many local authorities were profiting from the licensing system. Our research has confirmed the findings of the review group.
“Due to a myriad of different and often unaccountable systems of licensing and with too many local authorities charging more in fees than the cost of issuing licences, these figures show that licence holders are paying over the odds for a system which is cumbersome and which is lining the pockets of some local authorities.
“Retailers continue to struggle with a particularly tough trading environment and every additional pound given to local authorities, or spent untangling the bureaucracy of licensing, is a pound less that retailers can invest making their businesses more viable through lower grocery prices and employing staff.
“To paraphrase the Scottish Government; it is not the price of alcohol which makes our bananas more expensive, it is the cost of disproportionate bureaucratic burdens like these.”
A copy of the summary report can be accessed here
- Published on Wednesday, 07 March 2012 15:23
Commenting on the publication of the Health and Sport Committee’s report on the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill SGF Chief Executive, John Drummond, said:
“This balanced report is not the ringing endorsement the Scottish Government could have expected given its majority on the Committee.
“The report fairly and accurately reflects the genuine and legitimate concerns from a wide range of individuals and organisations including the impact on low income and moderate drinkers, cross-border and internet sales and the legality of the policy.
“SGF remains sceptical about the effectiveness and proportionality of minimum pricing and about some of the practical implications of the policy such as a possible increase in the licence fee to pay for additional support to pay for its enforcement."
A copy of the report can be accessed here
- Published on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 15:41
The Office for National Statistics has announced that inflation has fallen by 1.7% from its peak at 5.6% in September 2011. This announcement adds to business organisations' case against planned 5.6% increase in business rates to come in this April. Commenting on the drop SGF Chief Executive, John Drummond, said:
“The Scottish Government’s commitment to hike up business rates by 5.6% in April was a missed opportunity to support struggling businesses the length and breadth of Scotland.
“The ONS figures now show how excessive the 5.6% hike is, a rise which has added more than £30m to the retail sector’s tax bill alone.”
“We welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s commitment to allow businesses to spread the 5.6% increase over three years but this sugar coating doesn’t disguise the fact that figures like today are a bitter pill to swallow.”
- Published on Monday, 13 February 2012 11:19
Important information for businesses
Annual business rates bills are linked to inflation and from 1st April 2012 most non-domestic (business) rate bills in Scotland will increase by 5.6%.
The Scottish Government has implemented an opt-in business rates deferral scheme for 2012-13 bills.
This scheme allows businesses to choose to spread repayment of part of the inflationary increase in their 2012-13 business rates over a 3 year period.
- Published on Tuesday, 31 January 2012 15:21
Commenting on the publication of the second updated version of the University of Sheffield’s report on minimum unit pricing SGF Chief Executive, John Drummond, said:
“Given how prescriptive and absolute the Scottish Government and other interested parties have been in terms of the supposed outcomes of a minimum unit price this latest report does little to strengthen the case for minimum pricing.
“This is the second revision of the report and the second time the assumptions which we are told to be unassailable have been diluted.
“We continue to be concerned about a number of issues arising from this bill including its impact on low income and moderate consumers, on cross-border and internet sales and on value products.
“It also remains to be seen whether this policy will result in yet another hike in license fees for our hard pressed retailers and whether it is competent under EU law.
“We welcomed the Finance Committee’s recommendations that there should be an on-going evaluation of the impact of the legislation once enacted. SGF will be closely monitoring whether these highly exacting projections do indeed turn out to be fact or fiction.”
- SGF Responds to Finance Committee Report on Minimum Pricing
- SGF Responds to Trade Union Attack on the Small Business Bonus Scheme
- Scottish Energy and Resource Efficiency Service
- Unemployment figures: a "wake-up call"
- Scotttish Government Moves on Tobacco Display Ban
- Minister launches SGF healthy living programme
- December Edition of Community Shop
- SGF Chief Executive, John Drummond, Comments on Nielsen Figures
- SGF Responds to SRC Sales Figures
- SGF responds to 5.6% increase in business rates