CAMRA condemns the introduction of a late-night levy in Tower Hamlets, which will see pubs in the area hit with yet another tax bill, at a time when the business rates revaluation has seen many of the capital’s pubs facing unprecedented rises in their rates.
Tower Hamlets joins the City of London, Islington, Camden and Hackney to be the fifth London council to agree a late-night levy, a tax that forces licensed premises to pay for policing the streets at night.
Local pubs that are licensed past midnight will be expected to pay the tax, regardless of whether they continue serving or trading late into the evening.
John Cryne, Chair of London Region CAMRA says: “We are seeing a worrying trend across London of more and more councils considering late night levies, without thinking of the effect this will have on valued community pubs. We are proud of the variety of pubs that we have across London, but introducing a levy is just penalising local businesses when the majority contribute positively to the night time economy. What is the point in having an all night tube if there is nowhere to go?”
“Late night levies are a blunt instrument, and unfairly penalise pubs – most of which are hubs of responsible drinking. Coupled with the introduction of crippling business rates, pubs in Tower Hamlets face rapidly rising costs – which will either result in more pub closure or higher prices for consumers.”
The levy, which can be up to £85.38 each week, depends on the size and rateable value of the premises and was agreed by Tower Hamlets Council on September 20th.