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News & Press: General

Businesses and customers join forces to oppose late-night tax in London

16 July 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Pernille Thomsen
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Local businesses, residents and customers in Southwark have joined forces to oppose the introduction of a late-night levy.

UKHospitality and local businesses have gathered signatures opposing the introduction of a new tax on pubs, bars and late-night venues open after midnight.

The petition will be delivered to Southwark Council tomorrow (Wednesday 17 July) ahead of a planned meeting where the levy will be discussed.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The number of people, businesses, customers and local residents, who have come together to oppose this new tax shows how strongly they feel about it. It also highlights how wrong Southwark Council is to even consider this unsuitable and dangerous new tax. The levy has already been dismissed by the House of Lords Committee on Licensing which recommended it be abolished.

“Hospitality businesses in Southwark have helped drive regeneration over the years and they came together to support the community following the devastating attack two years ago. Now, they are being squeezed by a Council only interested in another tax, even if it undermines businesses, loses jobs and harms investment in the community.

Alex Philiotis, General Manager of Belushi’s, The Dugout and St Christopher’s Inn, London Bridge added: “We will be paying even more in taxes and there is no guarantee that anyone in the Borough will benefit from it. The money raised may not even be spent here. It will only restrict our ability to invest money in our venues and staff, it will reduce choice for our customers who will also suffer and make the area a much less exciting place.”

Keith Knowles, CEO and Founder of Beds & Bars said: “Southwark is a lively and vibrant area and venues, particularly those in and around London Bridge, are renowned as some of the most exciting in the country.

“We have invested lots of time, money and energy over the years, along with other businesses, to help regenerate the area. After all that we have contributed, it is devastating to see the Council decide just to foist another tax on us.”


Notes to editors

  • Photo: Beds & Bars staff petitioning in opposition to the levy.
  • UKHospitality is the new trade body representing the UK’s hospitality sector, established following a merger approved in February 2018 between the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA)
  • UKHospitality is the authoritative voice for over 700 companies, operating around 65,000 venues in a sector that employs 3.2 million people
  • The body speaks on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out-of-home’ businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to niche groups and independent single-site operators
  • For the first time, the sector has a single voice bringing together businesses from all aspects of hospitality; coffee shops, hotels, serviced apartments, pubs, restaurants, leisure parks, nightclubs, contract caterers, entertainment, stadia and visitor attractions
  • Engaging with government, the media and the public, UKHospitality works to develop a robust case on how to unlock the industry’s full potential as the biggest engine for growth in the economy and ensure that the industry’s needs are effectively represented
  • The sector creates £130bn in economic activity and generates £39bn of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services
  • Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP
  • Hospitality is the 3rd largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined
  • Member benefits include free advice and expert guidance on regulation, finance and health and safety as well as savings on services from carefully selected business partners.


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