3:10pm Friday 4th May 2012
The Home Office is considering introducing a ‘late night levy’ on places which sell booze to help councils with their clean-up costs.
Each pub or club looking to trade past midnight would be slapped with an extra tax anywhere from £299 to £4,400 a year depending on the rateable value of the property.
The money raised would be given to councils and the police to contribute towards their costs for handling the late-night economy.
Ann Holden, who runs The Cross Keys in Malvern, said: “It’s disgraceful and ridiculous – I think it’s a crazy idea. We would effectively be being penalised for idiots who cause trouble. I’ve been here 20 years and try to run a decent pub.
“It would not make it worth my while opening past midnight. We’d be forced to shut early. This would hit a lot of places very hard because nobody is doing well.”
The idea has been announced by the Home Office, and forms part of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act.
Hotels, restaurants, theatres, supermarkets, casinos, bingo clubs and cinemas would be exempt from it, as well as ‘country pubs’ which trade in a place with a population below 3,000.
The cash would then be split for all costs associated with the late night economy, including street cleaning and rubbish collection.
Consultations over it closed at the start of April and the Home Office is currently sifting through responses before making a firm announcement.
A spokesman for Malvern Hills District Council said: “We are fortunate not to suffer the problems experienced in other areas and clearly are concerned that measures to address these problems might have unintended consequences for some of our local businesses.”
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