The BBPA has reacted to a postponement of an imminent late-night levy for premises licensed to sell/supply alcohol between midnight and 6am in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The plan was to introduce the levy on 1 January 2018.
Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds said, “We had responded to the consultation and urged the Council not to go ahead with these plans. Whilst the delay is welcome, I will be urging the Council to have a fundamental rethink of the policy, taking the opportunity to reconsider and listen to views of local businesses especially given that a House of Lords Committee has recently published a report criticising the policy and recommending that the late-night levy is abolished.
“For vibrant London boroughs like Tower Hamlets, a damaging new tax on local business is the wrong approach, and the focus should be on partnership working, with the police and local business, to address any issues in the night time economy.”
The recently published House of Lords committee report regarding the Licensing Act 2003, looked at all aspects of licensing in detail, including levies.
The independent committee heard extensive evidence from all parties involved in the licensing system and concluded that “given the weight of evidence criticising the late-night levy in its current form, we believe on balance it has failed to achieve its objectives and should be abolished.”