Government plans to reform the system for setting alcohol licence fees could add an extra 13p on every pint sold in pubs and bars, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers has warned. ALMR estimates that the plan, which would give councils more authority to set licensing fees in their area, could cost the industry overall an extra £100m per year. The proposal, included in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, is to be debated in the House of Lords today (Monday) and Wednesday. ALMR chief executive Nick Bish said: “If this Bill is passed then every person in the country who enjoys a pint of beer will be forced to pay the price. “These proposals will allow local authorities up and down the country to double the amount they charge in licensing fees. Pubs simply cannot afford to absorb these cost hikes so it will inevitably hit customers in the pocket. “This couldn’t come at a worse time for the industry, particularly as supermarkets continue to sell alcohol at ridiculously low prices despite pledges by the government to tackle this problem. “We are calling on the government to think again and look at the impact that these plans will have on the pocket of the responsible drinker and their local community pub.” Under an amendment to the Bill, authorities could set different amounts for the different licence fee bands, which are based on rateable value. They may also “from time to time determine a revised amount” for the fee level, although there are no details as to how often this would happen. Licensing authorities would determine the fee level based on administration costs, plus “general costs”, such as monitoring and enforcement. This has lead to fears of a postcode lottery over fee levels for operators.