Breaking: Officials back plans for tax on late night entertainment in Milton Keynes

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Plans for a Late Night Levy in Milton Keynes have been controversially supported by council officials.

A meeting of the Licensing Sub-Committee on August 30 has been asked to recommend that the full committee go ahead with it.

If the full committee agrees, businessess selling alcohol between 1am and 6am will be hit with an extra bill of between £299 and £4,440.

The total raised, estimated at £135,000 a year will make a contribution towards the costs of policing the late-night economy. But that is if all the premises maintain their current opening hours. There are also a range of exemptions and reductions.

A report to next Friday’s meeting says the minimum cost of funding 12 police officers on Friday and Saturday nights in the city centre is more than £200,000. But this does not include all policing costs.

The licensed trade has objected in force. The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, responding to the initial consultation said: “We believe that no evidence has been provided of any problems to suggest it would be desirable, or any information on how the levy would be used to tackle them.” The ALMR also objects, as do pub companies, to an additional tax on an already burdened sector during tough economic times.