ALMR: Government's schizophrenic policy on pubs

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Late night levy, Government, English-language films, Political philosophy

Nicholls: Government should think again on licensing proposals
Nicholls: Government should think again on licensing proposals
Plans to let pubs open later during the royal wedding weekend shows the Government's "schizophrenic" approach to the trade. That's according to the...

Plans to let pubs open later during the royal wedding weekend shows the Government's "schizophrenic" approach to the trade.

That's according to the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), which welcomed the news but warned that this could be a "thing of the past" if the Government's late night levy plans go ahead.

The ALMR is urging ministers to use it as a test before pressing ahead with "draconian plans to cut hours as part of licensing reform".

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill gives licensing authorities the power to prevent the sale of alcohol after midnight and encourages them to re-introduce permitted hours.

It could also see any operator trading after midnight — even for one night or as part of a national event like the Royal Wedding — subject to a "late night levy" of up to £4,500 per year.

ALMR Strategic Affairs Director Kate Nicholls said: "Today's announcement highlights the Government's increasingly schizophrenic approach to the sector. On the one hand we are to be encouraged to trade later to allow people to celebrate a national event, but on the other hand the Home Office is sending out a clear message through the Bill that drinking after midnight should be discouraged.

"We can certainly raise a toast at midnight to the newly weds this year, but many pubs will be prevented from doing so at next year's Diamond Jubilee as a result of Early Morning Closure Orders of the late night levy.

"We urge the Government to think again otherwise this could well be the last royal celebration the trade can participate in."

Related topics: Legislation

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