HC Deb 16 December 2002 vol 396 cc526-7W
26. Dr. Brian Iddon

If she will reduce the cost of entertainment licences for pubs and clubs. [85595]

Dr. Howells

Under the current public entertainment licensing system, local authorities have set charges that can vary by thousands of percent from area to area, even for similar activities carried out at similar premises. It would not be uncommon, for example, for one authority to charge £150 for a licence and another to charge £20,000 or more for the same permission.

Under the proposed new regime, however, the cost of a premises licence would remain the same whether it solely covered the sale of alcohol or included any number of additional licensable activities, such as the provision of live music. The estimated fees in the Regulatory Impact Assessment published with the Licensing Bill were between £100 and £500 for an application for a premises licence with a subsequent annual charge of between £50 and £150. Fees would be set centrally by the Secretary of State in secondary legislation. The assessment estimates that the hospitality and leisure industry would save £1.97 billion over the first ten years that the new regime is in operation.