Pubs, restaurants to be hit by 'late night levy'

Pubs, bars, and restaurants across the country are set to be charged extra levies for late night licenses.

The late-night levy scheme, which sees licensees charged an extra sum if they wish to stay open after midnight, is being trialled in 10 council areas before being rolled out across the country.

The majority of the money will be passed on to local police services to help with the cost of cleaning up after late night drinkers.

Yesterday Islington councillor Paul Convery told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that his council was introducing the levy because "the scheme persuades [licensees] against opening [late], but if they do it offsets the cost."

According to the government briefing on the levy, "it is right that businesses which profit by selling alcohol in the night-time economy should contribute towards these costs, rather than relying on other taxpayers in the community to bear the full costs."

Will my premises be affected?

The scheme will be introduced at the discretion of individual councils. Once a council decides to introduce the levy, all licensed premises in that area will be affected.

There are several exceptions. Councils will be able, at their own discretion, to offer an exemption to premises with overnight accommodation, theatres and cinemas, bingo halls, Community Amateur Sports Clubs, community premises, country village pubs, and premises in Business Improvement Districts.

You should check with your local council to determine whether or not the levy is to be introduced in your area.

How much will I be charged?

The size of the levy will be based on the rateable value of the premises. The highest possible annual levy charged is £4,400, for a premises with a rateable value of more than £125,000 that primarily or exclusively sells alcohol. The lowest charge, for premises with a rateable value up to £4,300, is £299 per year.