Magazine article Public Finance

Almost 60,000 Bars Set to Miss Licence Deadline

Magazine article Public Finance

Almost 60,000 Bars Set to Miss Licence Deadline

Article excerpt

The new licensing regime has been condemned as a 'shambles' by industry representatives as the government's own estimates suggest that at least 30% of businesses will miss the August 6 deadline.

The Federation of Small Businesses warned this week that the introduction of the new system, under which councils are assuming responsibility for granting alcohol licences, had descended into chaos because of ministers' intransigence.

FSB policy chair John Walker said the government had refused to listen to members' concerns that the application process, involving a 26-page form, was too complicated and time-consuming.

'The failure of businesses to renew their licences is a time bomb of the government's making that we warned was set to explode this summer,' he claimed.

Under the government's reforms, six alcohol licences are being merged into one. Businesses must apply for the new unified licence before August 6 to ensure they have one when the new system comes into effect on November 24. …

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