WEE COUNTY businesses have spoken out in favour of a five per cent cut in value added tax proposed by the SNP.

The Scottish Government say a VAT reduction will help businesses who are facing difficulties with rising operating and goods costs, with a Clacks MP taking the voices of local shops to Westminster to show the effect it would have.

John Nicolson, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, is supporting the tax cut to allow for some financial headroom for firms hard-pressed by energy bills.

He said: “We’ve been talking to businesses in Alloa this past week to get a sense of the difference this would make.”

The reduction has been hailed by businesses across Clacks, with Alison Turner of the Ladybird Tearoom stating it would be “an enormous help and would certainly be noticed by us".

Craig Stewart, publican at The Royal Oak, added: “Of course, it will be a massive help to those struggling to keep their places open.

“When the previous VAT reduction happened, it was amazing. It made such a difference.”

The cut in VAT is in line with a number of European countries who have offered reduced rates for hospitality, recognising the difficult times faced by owners in recent years.

“The hospitality sector needs help now,” Mr Nicolson added. “Westminster has the levers to control VAT.

“The UK Government refuses to take measures to limit energy prices, so let the government instead give the businesses in our communities a break by lowering VAT by five per cent.”