Large late-night clubs and bars will be forced to fork out up to £4,400 a year to help pay for policing under the new late night levy.
The Government yesterday unveiled details of its controversial late night levy, included in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, which will apply to premises who operate between 12am and 6am in areas local authorities wish to implement the levy.
Charges will be set on a national level and be based on rateable value bands and apply to both on and off-trade. The fees will be split evenly between the police and local authority.
The bands are:
• A. No rateable value to £4,300: £299
• B. £4,301 to £33,000: £768
• C. £33,001 to £87,000: £1,259
• D. £87,001 to £125,000: £1,365
• E. £125,001 and above: £1,493
However, premises in Band D and E who "primarily or exclsuively sell alcohol" will be subject to a multiplier of two and three respectively taking the charges to £2,730 and £4,400.
"This will ensure that larger pubs and clubs contribute more to the levy than restaurants and theatres which may serve alcohol, but are likely to have a smaller impact on late-night crime," the Home Office said.
But Paul Smith, executive director of nightclub trade body Noctis, said the multiplier was the "sting in the tail". He said: "The massive 24-hour supermarkets will be able to escape the multiplier. That is incredibly unfair and irresponsible.
"Clubs and bars already spend around 8-10% of costs on security and being responsible. They supervise the sale and consumption of alcohol. Supermarkets do not."
Discounts and exemptions can be offered to certain premises. "We understand that many premises take action to ensure that they do not have a negative impact on their local community through membership of schemes such as Best Bar None and Pubwatch," it said.
"As such, we feel it is appropriate for the licensing authority to be able to offer exemptions or discounts to the members of these schemes if their existence is helping to reduce crime in the area."
It also suggested authorities may exempt hotels as they only serve their own customers and are unlikely to contribute to policing costs.
The Home Office said the levy would not target individual premises because "for example a fight may take place between groups of individuals who have each visited a variety of different premises over an evening".
The Government believes that community pubs will not be affected because it says many do not have a licence to open after midnight. "Furthermore, premises that do not want to pay the levy will be able to change their opening hours free of charge to avoid being required to do so."