Commenting on the publication of the Scottish Labour Party manifesto, CAMRA’s Director for Scotland Sarah Crawford said:
“We are concerned that Scottish Labour’s plans for another levy on alcohol could unfairly penalise responsible beer drinks and place extra costs on well-run local pubs which provide communities with a place to meet and where people can drink responsibly and in a controlled environment. Pubs across Scotland are continuing to close in the face of rising costs and we would like all political parties to commit to taking action to reverse the rate of pub closures.
“CAMRA welcomes Scottish Labour’s proposals to widen the scope of reviews into Business Rates as well as their commitment to engage with businesses about the challenges of the current system. CAMRA will be looking to make sure any changes to the Business Rates system makes sure that pubs no longer pay a disproportionate share of rates.
“Scottish Labour’s acknowledgement that community assets and places to meet are vital to tackle social isolation and must be protected is welcome, but we would like plans to specifically include pubs which play a huge role in their communities and are a key part of the effort to tackle loneliness. We’d also like to see Scottish Labour’s planned Regeneration Fund rejuvenate high streets be opened up so that communities can bid for funding to take over or re-open pubs in their communities that have closed or are at risk of closure.”