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Brighton and Hove bouncers fear they will be first victims of nightclub levy
Bouncers fear becoming the victims of a planned late-night levy on Brighton and Hove bars and clubs.
Club and pub security guards say the introduction of the proposed annual charges to venues would be passed down in pay cuts to them.
But one long-serving doorman of more than 20 years said the move would be another nail in the coffin in an industry he claims has seen wages drop by two-thirds.
He claimed that doormen in the city were now earning around £8 an hour, more than half the £25 an hour he received in 1993 and considerably less than his counterparts in London and elsewhere in the north.
The bouncer, who asked not to be named, said: “Every time the venues need to make cutbacks, the first to suffer is the doormen. They are not going to put the entry price up, they are not going to put the price of drinks up.
“For some reason in one of the biggest clubbing cities in the country, wages are getting worse.
“For most of us it is a profession and we have put our lives into it but more and more people are leaving because they can’t afford to work for £8 an hour.
“There was a time when Brighton was much worse and we were on the frontline and we cleaned it up with our own sweat and blood, lots of blood.”
Brighton and Hove City Council announced last month they had put on hold plans for the levy – which could raise up to £4 million.
Further reviews of a scheme being run in Newcastle have been carried out ahead of any decision.
Doormen are now expected to shell out up to £250 to renew their Security Industry Authority licences and up to £300 per year on public liability insurance.
The doorman told The Argus the industry was now split between experienced doormen and so-called “jacket-fillers” who were inexperienced and would “run at the first sign of trouble”.
He said: “The biggest problem with the Olympics was that G4S were giving out badges to everyone because they needed the security.
“Now the city is filled with jacket fillers and students who have the licence and are prepared to work for £8 an hour.”
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