Perthshire Conservatives have backed local self-catering businesses who have hit out at “misguided” short-term let licence proposals that were “sneaked” out before the summer Parliamentary recess.
Councillor John Duff and Murdo Fraser MSP are both calling on the SNP Government to “stop and listen” to irate business owners who have contacted them to complain of the plan to introduce more red tape and regulations just as many try to rebuild their business due to the impact of pandemic.
Commenting, Councillor Duff, who represents the Highland ward, said: “I am extremely concerned about the potential impact of this SNP Government scheme on self-catering businesses. The SNP proposes a licensing scheme for all types of self-catering businesses, including B&Bs, guest houses, lodges and glamping pods, and has singularly failed to take on board the concerns of the industry in doing so.
“Self-catering businesses bring in over £720 million to the Scottish economy and the introduction of this scheme could result in many self-catering businesses closing with the additional knock on effect to local economies.”
Councillor Duff continued: “The SNP expect local authorities to implement these regular inspections of all self-catering properties and to administer the licensing scheme. I understand that the Scottish Government will not provide any additional funding to councils and therefore the full costs will fall to self-caterers.
“The closure of many self-catering businesses could do untold damage to the tourist industry and to the supply chain of cleaners, tradespeople, local businesses, and visitor attractions and to our local communities.”
And Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, added: “The SNP have brought back these misguided proposals after they sneaked them out following Parliament coming off for the summer recess. They need to stop and listen to these business owners.
“This is a major issue for many of my constituents. I have had lots of emails and communication from irate local self-catering businesses over this matter.
“The Scottish Conservatives are committed to standing with the sector to stand against these proposals, which we believe are unworkable in their current format.”