SCOTLAND'S Deputy First Minister has demanded the UK’s next prime minister commits to cutting the rate of VAT.

Kate Forbes said the move would act as a “win-win-win” for businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors after they were “battered” by Covid-19 and Brexit.

The SNP included the proposal in its manifesto launched on Wednesday, and Forbes will highlight the issue during a General Election campaign visit in Glasgow on Friday.

She said: “Cutting VAT for businesses would be a ‘win-win-win’ for hospitality, tourism and the wider economy.

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“In the last few years, hospitality and tourism businesses have been battered by the Covid pandemic, and they are still being battered by Brexit – it’s time that Westminster gave these businesses a break by finally cutting VAT.

“These businesses are the backbone of the Scottish economy and they urgently need support, not more austerity, Brexit and a cost-of-living crisis – all inflicted by Westminster.”

She said the Scottish Government is already “doing what it can” to support businesses.