Party pledges

Related tags Smoking ban Labour party

It's time to separate the wheat from the chaff - and get to the heart of the major political parties' election commitments to the pub trade with our...

It's time to separate the wheat from the chaff - and get to the heart of the major political parties' election commitments to the pub trade with our handy guide.

Labour:"Britain forward, not back"

Smoking ban:​ For (in part)Paid-for-policing:​ ForID cards:​ For

  • Local councils will be able to designate alcohol disorder zones to "help pay for extra policing around city centre pubs and clubs"
  • Additional powers to shut down premises selling alcohol to underage drinkers and bans from town and city-centre pubs and clubs
  • Yobs to be excluded from town centres for 24 hours when they are issued with a penalty notice for disorder
  • ID cards, backed up by a national register, and rolling out initially on a voluntary basis
  • All pubs and bars serving food to be smoke-free - with other pubs and membership clubs free to choose - but smoking at the bar banned everywhere. Wales to ban smoking completely
  • The minimum wage to continue - and increased to £5.05 in September 2005 and £5.35 in 2006 as set out by the Low Pay Commission
  • A neighbourhood policing team to be established in every community
  • Parish council wardens to be given powers to issue penalty notices for disorder, including grafitti
  • Plans to get "exacting targets" for reducing the costs of red tape and rationalise business inspections.

Conservatives:"Are you thinking what we're thinking?"

Smoking ban:​ AgainstPaid-for-policing:​ AgainstID cards:​ For

  • Supports self-regulation by the licensed trade on smoking
  • Five thousand new police officers each year for the next eight years; police to be locally accountable through elected police commissioners - with policies based on zero tolerance; does not back calls for paid-for-policing
  • Supports ID cards in principle but believes the technology and cost benefits must be proven
  • Minimum wage, and proposed increases, to remain
  • Red tape to be reduced, with a view to liberating small firms from employment legislation to follow if the Conservatives succeed in an attempt to restore the UK's opt-out from the European Social Chapter
  • Regulatory budgets to be set for each government department and all new regulations will have to have benefits exceeding costs.

Following the publication of its manifesto, the Conservatives announced the following measures to tackle binge-drinking:

  • To give local councils the power to restrict late-night licences, without them having to worry that
    decisions could be overturned by courts
  • To put a stop to all-you-can-drink promotions by giving councils the power to attach conditions to licences
  • To give councils the power to block licence extensions to premises where binge-drinking could get out of control
  • To give local communities a fairer say in licensing decisions.

Liberal Democrats: "Freedom, fairness, trust"

Smoking ban:​ ForPaid-for-policing:​ ForID cards:​ Against

  • No plans to introduce ID cards - instead to use the money to increase the number of police on the streets by 10,000
  • Local people to have more to say in the punishment of local offenders such as petty vandals - eg by making them clean off graffiti
  • A crackdown on licensees who serve people when clearly drunk or underage
  • "Big late-night venues" to be asked to contribute to the cost of extra late-night policing
  • Clearer food and alcohol labelling - to "give people the information and opportunities to make healthy choices"
  • A smoking ban in all public places - because "second-hand smoke kills"
  • Substantial cuts in red tape
  • Small business rate relief - with firms with a rateable value of less than £25,000 able to claim a business rate allowance of up to £1,500 - saving most businesses more than £600 a year
  • Rates to be based on site value, rather than rental value
  • A more level playing field between small and large firms - with the abuse of monopoly power by larger prompting a duty to trade fairly.

Who will you vote for - and why?

  • Anita Adams, The Golden Slipper, York:

    "I'll be voting for Michael Howard. This government is destroying everything people have worked for - freedom, individuality and choices. But there are no particular polices from the Tory Party that would benefit the pub trade. We need to educate them better as to what's happening in this industry."

Alison Smith, Bar One Nine, Keynsham, Somerset:

"As a left-wing libertarian my politics align with the Green Party. Their priorities of people, peace and the planet's resources are exactly right. From an economic standpoint as a small business owner I agree with their goal of favouring small and medium-sized businesses as opposed to multi-nationals."

Richard Slade, the Magnesia Bank, North Shields:

"Panic-mongering by Michael Howard is not going to benefit any of us. I am certain that the licensing bill is going to benefit all of us. But they must do something about cheap drinks being sold by the supermarkets. Labour has the best proposals on licensing reform - it's not all good, but we'll take the rough with the smooth.

"There's certainly been more money spent in my pub under a Labour government than there was under the Tories!"

Andy Brooks, the Laughing Fish, Isfield, East Sussex:

"I'll be voting Tory - but, sad to say, more from a negative point of view than a positive one. The Labour Party has hugely increased the amount of red tape since it has come into power and licensing reform is a mess. I support an enterprise culture which can help small businesses prosper, and I think this is most closely associated with the Tories."

Steve Thompson, Stonewalls, Lewisham:

"I will be voting for Labour. I don't like all their policies but I'm a supporter of their overall ethos. But I do think it is being a bit too reactionary on binge-drinking at the moment - it's all too easy to blame the pubs and bars, when I think the biggest problem is with supermarkets."

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