Poll: Should the late night levy be repealed?

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Unjustified additional cost: UKH and NTIA repeat calls for late night repeal (Credit: Getty/SolStock)
Unjustified additional cost: UKH and NTIA repeat calls for late night repeal (Credit: Getty/SolStock)

Related tags: Late night levy, Kate nicholls, NTIA, ukhospitality, Legislation

Trade body UKHospitality (UKH) has reiterated calls for a reformation of the late-night levy.

UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls addressed the House of Lords Liaison Committee hearing yesterday (Thursday 10 March), tasked with looking into developments in licensing since the committee’s last report in 2017, stating the late-night levy was not an “effectively targeted mechanism”.

Survey

Do you think the late night levy should be repealed?

  • Yes

    92%
  • No

    8%

She said: “[The late-night levy] becomes an additional tax on doing business.

“The Covid pandemic has highlighted how inflexible it is where businesses that were closed for the vast majority of two years, still had to pay the late-night Levy​ because for one or two nights of the year, they were opening later than the provision said.

More effective approach 

“And once it was in place, it was impossible to be able to get it postponed or dropped.”

This comes after UKH, along with other trade associations such as the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), wrote to the Government demanding a reprieve of venues​ still required to pay the levy in 2020.

At the hearing, Nicholls added: “The late-night levy should be repealed, along with the early morning restriction orders, and [a] much more effective targeted approach is through the business improvement districts, where businesses are part of the development of the solutions.

“Therefore, you can effectively target those areas of greatest concern and the needs the local community​ has to make sure the town centre and the public places are safe, clean and adequately protected.”

Also speaking at the committee hearing today, was Night-Time Industries Associations (NTIA) chief executive Michael Kill, who supported Nicholl’s call for reformation.

Unjustified additional cost

He said: “I would concur with Kate.

“From an industry perspective, the feedback we're getting is they're seeing this as an unjustified additional cost.

“Many businesses do not see the physical benefits for that additional cost and they have some challenges with regards to transparency and spend, but also, the flexibility, as was addressed by Kate.

“It's really important we ensure there is a strong support mechanism, and an identified mechanisms support for bids, if we were going to come out of the late-night levy​ position.”

Related topics: Legislation

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