UKIP wants to ‘restrict trading times’ for pubs

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Trade restriction pledge: UKIP wants to repeal the Licensing Act 2003 and bring in new legislation
Trade restriction pledge: UKIP wants to repeal the Licensing Act 2003 and bring in new legislation
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has announced plans to “reduce the density of alcohol outlets and restrict trading times” for pubs and bars in its pre-election manifesto.

Under the proposals, the party would repeal the Licensing Act 2003 and bring in new legislation.

It said this would “protect emergency workers from abuse” from intoxicated members of the public.

“[The act] relaxed opening hours for pubs, bars and clubs, and increased the number of establishments able to serve alcohol,” the document said.

“The social consequences have not resembled the ‘continental-style café culture’ Tony Blair claimed it would.”

The manifesto quotes result from a survey of emergency workers by the Institute of Alcohol Studies, which revealed 52% of paramedics, 42% of A&E doctors and three quarters of police officers have been attacked in the course of their duties by drunk people.

Retrograde action

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers chief executive Kate Nicholls said that while it is not perfect, the Licensing Act has allowed venues to stay open later, boost consumer spend in their regions and helped reduce the rush that was previously felt as pubs all closed at the same time.

"Any return to the old system would be a hugely retrograde action and unhelpful for pubs, restaurants and bars," she said. 

“Thankfully, there is little chance of UKIP sweeping to victory at the general election, but if any additional measures were to be considered by the major parties, this would be unhelpful for businesses.”

Critical of Labour’s plans to save pubs

Last week, UKIP’s leader Paul Nuttall slammed Labour’s plans to tackle the “large-scale demise” of pubs,​ claiming the party’s plans “demonstrate complete lack of joined-up thinking”.

Nuttall, who claims to be a long-time advocate of UKIP’s Save the Pub​ campaign, said Labour’s plans which are intended to tackle the decline of pubs will “do anything but that”.

He added: "What brewers, publicans and pubgoers alike need is a sensible plan to save the pub, Labour is not it”.

Immigration

The party has stated it wants to establish a Migration Control Commission and reduce net migration to zero over a five-year period.

To make immigration “fair and equitable”, it states it will introduce a new Australian-style points-based system, and a work permit system.

Highly skilled workers with a job offer sponsored by companies paying them a minimum of £30,000 per annum will have priority, the manifesto stated, with a moratorium on unskilled and low-skilled immigration for five years after the UK leaves the EU.

UKIP has also said it will cut business rates by 20% for the 1.5m British businesses operating from premises with a rateable value of less than £50,000.

Related topics: Legislation

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