Late-night levy should be scrapped, says UKH

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Let businesses thrive: UKH urges Gov to abolish late-night levy (Getty/ Predrag Vuckovic)
Let businesses thrive: UKH urges Gov to abolish late-night levy (Getty/ Predrag Vuckovic)

Related tags Finance Legislation ukhospitality

UKHospitality (UKH) has urged for abolishment of the “ineffective and costly” late-night levy, after a consultation was launched into its impact.

Two proposals for determining the rates businesses would pay under the levy​ have been put forward within the consultation document.

The first proposal would base charges on the current licence fee system for venues selling alcohol, with no option for licensing authorities to apply a discount.

The second would use the same model but allow for a discretionary 30% discount for venues qualifying for Small Business Rate Relief.

UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said the “ineffective and costly” late-night levy continued to stifle the recovery​ of the night-time economy which was among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

Abolish the levy

She continued: “Now is not the time to extend the levy and the economic harm it inflicts on our late-night venues, taking £365,000 from the industry last year.

“Instead, the levy should be abolished to free up much-needed cash for businesses to invest in their business or, in many cases, simply stay afloat.”

The late-night levy was introduced by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. It allows licensing authorities to charge premises who operate late at night an additional fee.

The money generated from these funds is used to contribute to the costs of policing the late-night economy.

Burden on operators

Only nine local authorities were implementing a late-night levy in 2022 with several councils having ditched the tax in support of the hospitality industry.

Nottingham scrapped​ the late-night levy in September to reduce the burden on operators and remove costs that could be a barrier to incoming businesses.

“The night-time economy is part of the fabric of towns and cities across the country, attracting thousands of visitors and raising millions for the economy,” Nicholls added.

She urged Government to remove the levy as soon as possible to allow the night-time economy to flourish, recognising all the benefits it brings to local areas.

The consultation will close on 4 April 2023 and can be viewed here​.

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