Scottish licences to double in 18 months

12 December 2007 by
Scottish licences to double in 18 months

Scottish licensees will see their licence fees double in the next 18 months in a move that will see licensing boards granted flexibility for licensing charges.

The new regulation will charge a premises licence for pubs ranging from a minimum of £800 to a maximum of £2,000. As a result total licensing costs will rise from £10m to £20m as the legislation is introduced over the next year and a half.

Patrick Browne, chief executive of the Scottish Beer and Pub Association, said it was a "bolt out of the blue for the industry in Scotland".

"This is a truly awful decision by the Scottish government, which wasn't the subject of any discussion with the industry and which represents a major U-turn by the Scottish government in so many respects."

Browne told Caterer that small pubs in Scotland were paying substantially larger fees than those in England and Wales because of differences in the fee structures based on a pubs rateable value.

The beginning of the year saw the Eton review raise England and Wales licence fees by 7%. A band D property south of the boarder pays an annual fee of £481.50 while a category 4 pub in Scotland pays £1,300.

Independent report recommends 7% rise in licensing fees >>

Scottish publicans slam licence price rise plans >>

Scottish pub association warns licensing proposals will cost pubs' millions >>

An explanation of England and Wales licence fees can be seen here >>

By Christopher Walton

E-mail your comments to Christopher Walton here.

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