House of Commons Library

Alcohol: the late night levy

Published Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This Library Briefing Paper looks at the late night levy and changes to be introduced through the Policing And Crime Act 2017.

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What is the late night levy?

Local authorities were given the power to introduce a late night levy through the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

The levy is a discretionary power enabling licensing authorities in England and Wales to raise a contribution towards policing the late-night economy from holders of premises licences or club premises certificates. The levy must cover the whole of the licensing authority’s area. The licensing authority chooses the period during which the levy applies every night, between midnight and 6am.

The amount of the levy is prescribed nationally and is based on the current licence fee system under the Licensing Act 2003, with holders being placed in bands based on their premises rateable value.

The net levy revenue must be split between the licensing authority and the relevant police and crime commissioner (PCC). At least 70% of the net revenue must be given to the police.

The licensing authority can retain up to 30% to fund the services it provides to manage the night-time economy. These must be in connection with the supply of alcohol during the late night supply period and related to arrangements for:

  • the reduction of crime and disorder;
  • the promotion of public safety;
  • the reduction or prevention of public nuisance; or
  • the cleaning of any relevant highway or relevant land in the local authority area.

Reforming the levy (2017)

The Policing and Crime Act 2017 would reform the levy by:

  • allowing licensing authorities to target specific geographical locations;
  • extending the levy to include late night refreshment outlets;
  • enabling PCCs to request the licensing authority to propose introducing a levy; and
  • requiring licensing authorities to publish information about how funds raised by the levy are spent

House of Lords Committee criticism of the levy (2017)

A House of Lords Select Committee report (April 2017) concluded that the levy has failed to achieve its objectives and should be abolished. However it also recognised that the Government’s amendments “may stand some chance of successfully reforming the levy”. The Government has said it will not implement its levy reforms until it has considered and responded to the Select Committee’s report.





Commons Briefing papers SN07100

Author: John Woodhouse

Topic: Licensing

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