Leading trade body UKHospitality Scotland has urged the First Minister to commit to a pause and review of the Deposit Return Scheme, as a first step in mending the relationship with business.

UKHospitality Scotland Executive Director Leon Thompson said: “I’d like to congratulate Humza Yousaf on becoming First Minister and I look forward to working with him, and his Government, to ensure Scottish hospitality has a strong future.

“It’s no secret that there are enormous challenges facing our sector, particularly the looming introduction of the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and the proposals to heavily restrict alcohol marketing and promotion, all in addition to the energy, food and drink inflation venues are grappling with.

“It’s positive that the First Minister committed during his campaign that he would provide an initial exemption from DRS for small businesses but I would urge him to go further and pause the scheme completely, in order to conduct a full review.

“There is a real need for the First Minister to reset and repair the Scottish Government’s relationship with business, which has been incredibly fractious over the past few years, and pausing DRS would be a significant sign that he recognises that.

“Scottish hospitality is already a huge part of our economy and Scotland’s tourism offering but it can do so much more with the right support. We are a proven driver of growth and jobs and I hope that is recognised under the First Minister’s leadership.”

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